• The county government picks 1,000 Form 1 students from poor families each year.
• Beneficiaries are identified by primary school teachers in partnership with local opinion leaders
About 2,000 secondary school students in Murang’a county have received scholarship cheques amounting to Sh26 million to help them resume their studies.
The county government established the Nyota Zetu scholarship programme in 2018 that sponsors 1,000 Form 1 students from needy backgrounds each year.
Beneficiaries are taken through a rigorous vetting process conducted by primary schools’ head teachers’, board of management and the church.
Each primary school is given the opportunity to identify two beneficiaries from disadvantaged backgrounds who are already in possession of admission letters from boarding schools after sitting KCPE exams.
This is because teachers know their pupils best and are able to identify desperate cases that require assistance in partnership with other opinion leaders.
Governor Mwangi Wa Iria said he agreed with MCAs to form committees in primary schools that independently produce beneficiaries to make the process free and fair.
The students then receive cheques every term but are subjected to a performance review every term to ensure the county government gets value for the scholarships.
Students who consistently post poor performance will be struck off the programme, he said.
Wa Iria said his administration seeks to uplift the lives of poor families by ensuring their children get an equal chance in getting an education.
“These children are our future pillars. We will produce engineers, doctors, lawyers and teachers who will have a far-reaching impact in the community while turning the status of their families around,” he said.
By the end of his second term in 2022, Wa Iria said the programme would have at least 4,000 children.
After the national examinations in March this year, the county will sponsor another batch of students.
“We realised that a high number of top performers come from disadvantaged families and while some manage to acquire bursaries, they later drop out and join day schools as parents cannot sustain them in boarding schools,” he said.
The governor faulted some MCAs for complaining that the county government should have paid them first before issuing the scholarship cheques.