• President Ruto promised to restructure HELB to offer interest-free loans.
• Ringera said that the proposal by the Kenya Kwanza government to offer interest-free loans to university students might be costly.
Kenya University Students Organization has urged President William Ruto to intervene on matters HELB.
Kenya University Students Organization chair Anthony Manyara wrote to President Ruto on September 26, saying needy university students were suffering.
"It is our request that an intervention or directive is issued to settle the blame-shifting games between HELB and the treasury," Manyara said.
He accused HELB of delaying to disburse funds to students.
"Comrades receive their loan disbursements to enable them to meet tuition and accommodation costs alongside other needs," he added.
HELB CEO Charles Ringera previously noted that the timelines between which treasury operates and the school calendar differ.
For instance, currently, students are in an ongoing semester, while Ringera says treasury starts a financial year in June.
By this time, students are either in the May or September intake.
"We have unsynchronized exchequer releases with the academic calendar," he said.
Kenya Kwanza led by Ruto had promised to restructure HELB to offer interest-free loans.
But Ringera said the proposal by the Kenya Kwanza government to offer interest-free loans to university students might be costly.
He said in the financial year 2021-22, HELB was able to fund 347,166 students to the tune of Sh14.8 billion.
“Of these students, 106,048 were from TVETs at Sh3.9 billion, we still have some 35,137 unfunded students,” Ringera said.
He said there is a board mandated to offer grants to university students.
"We already have the Universities Funding Board which provides funds for financing universities, " he said.
HELB made the highest collection in 2021 at Sh5.2 billion, and from the Covid-19 penalty waiver, the board recovered Sh550 million.