By BONIFACE MULU.
Some 148 Form One students from eight of the Kitui County’s 18 districts have benefited from the 2022 Elimu Scholarship Programme. The eight districts are Kitui Central, Kitui West, Matinyani, Mutitu, Nzambani, Kisasi, Katulani and Lower Yatta.
The beneficiaries were officially flagged off at the Kitui Township Africa Inland Church (AIC) on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 where the local (Kitui Central) District Officer (DO) Koinary Saidimu was the chief guest at the ceremony.
The DO was representing the County Commissioner Mbogai M. Rioba at the function. The beneficiaries , who did the Kenya’s 2021 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), are among some 627 applicants from the eight districts who had applied for the programme’s scholarships.
They were selected by the programme from a total of 200 interviewees.The Elimu Scholarship Programme is by the Kenya’s government through the Education Ministry and it is funded by the government, the Equity Group Foundation, the World Bank and the Master Card Foundation.
In his speech to the beneficiaries, parents, guardians and teachers among other education stakeholders, the Equity Bank Kitui Branch Manager Francis Kyalo Mbindyo said: “It is my honour to welcome you all here today as we see off the 2021 class of the Elimu Scholarship Programme to their respective secondary schools in the country.”
Our children were amongst the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic as they had to re-adjust to a new calendar system and almost had to do a crush programme. “Despite the new normal, the scholars adopted well and that is why we are here today,” the banker added.
Congratulations goes to the students who have been selected by the Elimu Scholarship Programme to pursue their studies in various secondary schools across the country, Mbindyo said.
This year, we selected a total of 9,000 students for scholarships under the Elimu Scholarship Programme and another 1,000 students under the Equity Group Foundation’s Wings to Fly Scholarship Programme, he further said.“I sincerely thank everyone who participated in the selection process leading up to the identification of the most deserving students.
The task was not easy but with determination, we were able to identify the most deserving students,” he said.“The scholarship opportunity will enable the students to embark on a journey that will ultimately transform their future and that of their communities,” Mbindyo said.
He said that they in Kitui County are very glad and proud to have selected 148 needy students.These students have been awarded comprehensive secondary school scholarships following their exemplary performance in the recently completed KCPE examinations in the country, he said.“To our scholars, I would like to urge you to keep up with the hard work in your secondary school education.
This opportunity presented to you is only the start of a new and exciting journey on the path towards achieving academic excellence and transforming your livelihoods.If utilised well, this opportunity will open many doors for you all over the world,” the Equity Bank official said.
According to Mbindyo, the Elimu Scholarship Programme has so far provided 27,000 comprehensive secondary school scholarships to primary school graduates from all the Kenya’s 47 counties including 15 urban centres with informal settlements.
“We encourage the community to continue inspiring and motivating our children to work hard and excel in the KCPE examinations because there are opportunities for bright but needy scholars to benefit from comprehensive scholarships such as both the Wings to Fly and Elimu Scholarship Programmes”.
To date through the two programmes we have supported a total of 47,009 needy but academically gifted children in the country access secondary school education,” Mbindyo said.
And on his part, the chief guest Koinary Saidimu highly thanked the event’s organising committee for the good work. “I want to officially hand over this team (the beneficiaries) to the Equity Bank, parents and guardians,” Saidimu said.
And he congratulated the children for getting this opportunity.” “To get this opportunity is to use it properly,” he told the children.You must work hard because you want to transform this society, he also told them.
The DO said the discipline in school is by the teacher and the discipline at home is by the parent. “The government has put up some measures to improve the education in the country.
And it has said every child in the country must get education,” Saidimu said.Every child in Kenya must get education as per the government’s directive, the administrative officer added.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Kitui County Executive Secretary Simon Mutunga Nding’o who also addressed the occasion, thanked the Equity Bank for coming up with the Wings to Fly Scholarship Programme in the country.“This is a very important thing,” the KNUT official said.“Educating the children is a collective responsibility.
The Equity Bank can’t educate all the children.The community can’t educate all the children. And the government can’t educate all the children,” the educationist added.
Nding’o asked the community and others to take up the responsibility of educating the children who have remained without the Elimu Scholarship Programme’s support “for if we don’t help the God will not bless us.”The KNUT official said the union ensures that the children, teachers and parents are taken care of.
He said the discipline is very vital as he asked the children to take the education seriously. “The discipline is very vital in one’s life.Be disciplined to succeed in your lives,” the unionist told the children.
Nding’o said the education is the one that equalises.The Nzambani District Education Officer (DEO) Alex M. Sharamo also addressed the function among others.
The area (Kitui Central Constituency) Member of Parliament, Dr. Benson Makali Mulu, had been represented at the function by the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Manager Benjamin Kinyalili.
Some hundreds of another Form One students from the other Kitui County’s ten districts who also benefited from the 2022 Elimu Scholarship Programme were also officially flagged off in their respective districts.
The Equity Bank has three branches in Kitui County-Kitui Branch, Mwingi Branch and Mutomo Branch. The Kitui Branch covers the Kitui Central, Kitui West, Matinyani, Mutitu, Nzambani, Kisasi, Katulani and Lower Yatta Districts. And the Mwingi Branch covers the Mwingi Central, Kyuso, Muumoni, Mwingi East, Mwingi West and Tseikuru Districts, while the Mutomo Branch covers the Mutomo and Ikutha Districts..