Kakamega County Boosts Education Access with Expanded Bursary Program for 59,200 Students

By Seliphar Machoni

59,200 bright and needy students will now benefit from the enhanced bursary program officially launched by the Kakamega County government.

Governor Fernandes Barasa inaugurated the bursary, valued at Sh240 million, at Bukhungu Stadium.

The bursaries will be distributed across the county’s 60 wards.

“Each ward will receive Sh4 million, marking an increase from the previous allocation of Sh2 million. The minimum amount designated for each beneficiary is Sh4,000. We have implemented an affirmative action in the allocation process,” Barasa stated.

“Assigning these funds to each ward ensures fairness, providing an opportunity for local leadership, including the representation of MCAs, to determine deserving recipients.”

Priority will be on individuals with disabilities and teenage mothers among the 59,200 targeted beneficiaries.

Barasa emphasized that his administration supports students from vulnerable backgrounds in secondary schools, technical institutions, and teacher training institutions specializing in ECDE education.

The governor also highlighted that his government has allocated Sh292.5 million to enhance learning infrastructure in 61 ECDE centres.

He further mentioned that Sh60 million was designated for ECDE capitation, at a rate of Sh1,000 per learner, in the 2023-24 financial year.

“Our initiatives to enhance the learning environment have resulted in an upsurge in enrollment in our 927 learning centres, from 30,055 learners in 2014 to 107,522 learners in 2024,” Barasa remarked.

“I am confident that this bursary will significantly impact families by easing the burden of school fees payment during these economically challenging times.”

Barasa outlined that the county also has a university scholarship program, benefiting 71 students – 22 abroad and 49 locally.

He noted that Sh19 million has been earmarked this fiscal year for 12 competitive scholarships targeting students pursuing agriculture, sciences, and information and communications technology courses.

The county government also administers the County Afya Elimu Fund loans program that assists students in middle-level medical colleges.

Sh36 million was allocated to support 2,307 trainees in this category, with Sh7.5 million designated for this fiscal year.

“My administration is also collaborating with Access Kenya, KCB, Family Bank, and the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation to support students from underprivileged backgrounds,” he stated.

John Maina, a parent eagerly awaiting the benefits of the bursary for his needy child, expressed his satisfaction, believing that many students who were unable to attend school due to lack of fees will now have the opportunity to do so.

“I am delighted that my child, along with other underprivileged children in our county, will be able to attend school without any worries, thanks to the county government’s efforts in allocating bursaries. I also hope these bursaries will extend to children in rural areas who are in need,” he said.

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