Governor James Ongwae today rolled out disbursement of KShs.135million in bursaries to needy students in Kisii County.
A total of 40,000 beneficiaries in secondary and tertiary institutions will benefit in the 4th disbursement of the Kisii County Bursary Fund launched on Tuesday – with each ward allocated KShs.3million.
The bursary fund was launched three years ago with a goal of boosting transition and promoting retention in the school system for learners in the County.
"We would have wished to disburse these funds earlier but this wasn’t possible due to delays by National Treasury to release funds. By the close of the last financial year, Kisii County was owed about KShs.1.4billion by the National Treasury, which made it difficult to finance major activities. We also had to await regulations on implementation of free day secondary school education," explained Governor Ongwae.
He said lists of beneficiaries will be posted on noticeboards at Sub County and Ward offices.
Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, County Commissioner Godfrey Kigochi, Assembly Speaker David Kombo, Chairman of the Bursary Fund Board John Onyiego and several MCAs graced the occasion.
DG Maangi called for a review of the County’s bursary policy to align it with new guidelines on education. "While the Kisii County Bursaries Fund Act, 2014 has served as well, time has come for us to review it to ensure only deserving cases benefit from this kitty," said Maangi.
Kigochi supported the proposed amendments to the act saying it will help curb duplication with national government bursaries offered through CDF and other agencies.
In previous disbursements, students in day secondary schools benefitted from the County Bursary Fund. In January this year, the government scrapped the KShs.9,374 schools paid by students in public secondary schools each year paving way for complete free day secondary education.
In the last four years, a total of KShs.565million has been disbursed to needy students through the County bursary fund.
At the same time, Governor Ongwae announced plans to integrate ICT in the vocational training programme where all trades offered in Vocational Training Centres will be ICT based.
Further, he announced that the County Government had procured curriculum designs and reference books for use in ECD centres across the County.
"We have partnered with the Aga Khan Foundation through its Madrassa Early Childhood Development Programme to promote access to quality early years education for children. We also plan to introduce a feeding programme and improve sanitation facilities at ECD centres," added Ongwae.
He assured residents of his commitment to enhance access, participation and retention in the education sector by helping the needy children access education.