This year more than 9,000 learners from secondary schools have benefited from full scholarships courtesy of Elimu Scholarship Program, a partnership between World Bank, Equity Bank and the government.
PS Julius Jwan, Basic Education chair said they are contacting successful candidates to ensure they all report to school. Kiambu in Thika sub-county, 119 students from informal settlements secured secondary school sponsorship through the scholarships.
The senior manager at the Equity Bank, Mr Sammy Karanu, said they received more than 600 applications but could not sponsor all applicants. He also said that the scheme will cater for fees, books, shopping, pocket money and uniform for the whole four years the beneficiaries will be in school.
The cut-off mark for Elimu scholarship is 280 unlike Equity Bank’s Wings to Fly scholarships that target Kenya Certificate of Primary Education candidates who score 350 marks and above.
Mr. Karanu said that they have a community selection advisory committee chaired by deputy county commissioners which helps to identify needy cases. Some of the students sponsored end up doing very well in KCSE exams.
Madam Maurice Sifuna, Education Director from Thika, urged those benefitting from the scholarships to work hard, and remain disciplined to achieve academic excellence
She also added that it’s her hope to see all of them attaining grades that will take them to university. And she also calls on parents to provide a conducive learning environment, especially during holidays.
Mr. Mbogo Mathioya, deputy county commissioner, Thika West said local students who have benefitted from the scholarships were selected from Kilimambogo, Gachagini and Kiandutu slums.
He added that most parents are not able to educate their children. Students drop out of school while in lower primary school due to lack of school fees and that the scholarships are part of the government’s efforts to ensure 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school.