Kapenguria Constituency Launches Sh47 Million In Bursaries

Illiteracy and retrogressive cultural practices in remote areas within West Pokot County have been cited as major challenges affecting development.

To alleviate these challenges, residents have started embracing education with various stakeholders coming on board to improve literacy levels among pastoralists in remote areas.

On Tuesday, Kapenguria Constituency launched National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG- CDF) bursary worth Sh47 million at St Catherine, Chepnyal Girls secondary school in a move meant to salvage vulnerable but bright students attending secondary and tertiary institutions.

Speaking during the launch where the school was also issued with a bus, Kapenguria Member of Parliament (MP) Samuel Moroto cautioned school principals against sending learners home to collect school fees explaining that such a trend is demoralising and leads to school dropouts.

‘These bursaries should be put in good use for the benefit of the students. The government is committed to supporting more in th
e education sector,’ said Moroto.

The MP noted that there were schools that have become notorious for sending away learners for fees and he would expose them highlighting that the bursaries will help students who need financial support to stay in school.

Moroto advised school heads to develop a culture of negotiating with parents rather than chasing students out of school for not paying fees.

While acknowledging that not all students who applied for financial support for their education received the bursary, the MP expressed hope that they would find other ways to help all students who are struggling financially so that enjoy their education undisturbed.

At the same time the Kapenguria legislator called for the improvement in performance in national examinations appealing to the government to increase funding for the region so that many students are retained in schools.

Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa who was the Chief Guest during the launch observed that West Pokot residents have embraced education hence the
need to set up more schools in the region.

‘I am delighted that people here are now exposed and have abandoned retrogressive cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation and now taking girls to school,’ stated Barasa lauding area leaders for being transparent and accountable in disbursing bursaries.

West Pokot County Women representative Rael Kasiwai reiterated the need for all girls to be in school saying that there was no reason for them to be out of school as school fees had been paid.

‘Those children born during this period of bursaries and CDF are lucky. We want every girl child to be in school. Traditional beliefs and cultures remain the biggest drawback to improving literacy levels in our community especially in remote areas where a huge chunk of the population can neither read nor write,’ she emphasised.

Mnagei Secondary School Principal Hanna Lotuliatum said the bursary programme will improve the education sector in the region especially in remote pastoral areas where education is a dream
yet to manifest.

Last week, the West Pokot governor Simon Kachapin allocated a bursary budget of Sh 600 million to cover the needs of 44,000 students across the county.

Similarly, Sigor Constituency gave out bursaries worth Sh54 million while Kacheliba Constituency launched Sh34 million bursary kitty.

Source: Kenya News Agency