Taita Taveta, KENYA: A hundred secondary school scholars who scored 300 marks and above during the 2018 KCPE exams from public schools have been fully sponsored by the County Government of Taita Taveta.
Addressing the students during the official launch of the 2019 scholarship program, Governor Granton Samboja said his administration reviewed the Taita Taveta County Education Fund Board Act to cater for brilliant students from humble backgrounds and who score 300 marks and above rather than 400 in public school.
“Study hard to ensure you don’t lose this opportunity. We won’t spend taxpayers money on students who do not perform well in school. I beseech you to place emphasis on studies,” said H.E Samboja.
He added that the County Government has secured 40 million for bursaries to reach out to more scholars in the County.
“We have written to the controller of budget and asked for 40 million. They have assured us that by next week we will have the funds. 2 million shillings will be allocated to each Ward,” said H.E Samboja.
CECM Education and Libraries Daniel Makoko said the County Government is providing the students with school fees, uniform, and the required books.
He said that the county has widened the scope to cater for more needy students from public primary schools. This has however caused a stir among a section of the residents who feel that those in private schools have been sidelined.
“We look forward to a 100% transition of our beneficiaries to universities after completion of their high school education,” said Hon. Makoko as he challenged the students to work hard.
MCAs encouraged students to capitalize on the scholarship program to excel in their endeavors and set a precedent for others to strive to succeed.
“As MCAs we should also support students through the scholarship program. Let’s set aside 1 million each to educate our students. I am currently educating 27 students,” said Kaloleni Ward MCA Ahmed Omar.
23 of the hundred students are joining national schools, 60 are going to provincial schools, 16 are reporting to County schools while one will attend a Sub County school. 41 girls are among the hundred beneficiaries.
According to the CCO Education and Libraries Philomena Kirote, the program is conditional and shall be based on performance and discipline.
“The beneficiaries have signed performance scorecard this morning. We’ll fast track their performance. We shall also carry out mentorship to ensure they score the grades they have stated,” said the CCO.
Deputy Governor Majala Mlagui called on form four leavers to join Vocational Training Centers saying the institutions offer courses that are crucial in empowering the youth.
“We want to incorporate more disciplines like gemstones value addition courses to assisting our youth to earn a living out of our valuable minerals,” she said.
Wundanyi Sub County Education Director Mr. Ochieng Owango has challenged the County to join hands with the department to improve the grades attained in secondary and high school.
Leaders, however, took issue with the Teachers Service Commission blaming it for sidelining the Taita Taveta County residents during the recruitment process for new teachers. They lamented about fewer number of teachers serving in public schools as this impedes the ability of the institutions to post better results in national exams.