Government to track graduates M-pesa over HELB loans

Sports CS Amina Mohammed.Artistes are set to benefit from a sh 100 million kitty set aside by the ministry /COURTESY

Nairobi, KENYA: The government has vowed to track over 74,000 graduates from various institutions who have been employed and have failed to pay their Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) loans.

Speaking during the launch of the 2019-2023 HELB strategic plan on Wednesday in Nairobi, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed said the government resorted to such action after it emerged that defaulters are holding over sh.7.2 billion as at 31 st December, 2018.

The CS said that the ministry will partner with other relevant agencies to make sure that graduates who have not paid their loans execute it without delay.

“We are also going to partner with our law enforcement agencies to track down those holding jobs and yet are reluctant to stand up to be counted as responsible and patriotic citizens who honor their debts,” the CS said.

“This will include tracking graduates working in enterprises such as Mobile Transfer services such as MPESA, Airtel Money and other emerging jobs,” she added.

Amina also urged the employers to chip in and help the government to recover the money.

The HELB annual student budget has grown from sh.4.6 billion financing 109,189 students in 2012 to sh.11.4 Billion financing 248,050 students in 2017-2018.

A total of 53% of this budget is funded by the exchequer and 47% from loan recovery.

On the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Amina said that HELB is currently funding 24,252 students in various TVET colleges.

She added that the Ministry of Education is engaging Treasury to secure more resources to expand this reach.

It is estimated that this year, 262,764 students will be placed into Technical Training Institutes while 90,688 will be placed in Universities.

Consequently, she pointed that in order to allow more candidates access tertiary education, the placement process to TVET institutions will remain open at various intervals throughout the year.