Leaders in Meru County have called on the national government to harmonise issuance of bursary funds in a bid to end duplication and ghost applicants.
The leaders now want all the bursaries to be consolidated and managed by the Ministry of Education.
Speaking during the launch of the National Government Affirmative Action Funds in Meru town, North Imenti MP Rahim Dawood and Meru Woman Representative Elizabeth Kailemia said the MoE has the details of all the learners and knows deserving cases better than anybody else.
Dawood said all the data about the learners should be consolidated in a pool from where bursaries will be issued instead of having multiple sources.
He said all those being funded by MCAs, governors, MPs and Jomo Kenyatta Foundation among others should be centralized to avoid duplication where some students are getting more than three bursaries while others miss out on the funding.
He regretted that there are cases of ghost students where bursaries are issued to none existent learners only for the funds to end up in the pockets of a few corrupt officials.
“The issuance of bursary funds should be harmonised because there is a lot of duplication with some students getting bursaries three times while others have none,” the MP said.
He said in some cases, the funds don’t get to the students leading to school dropout noting some learners from rich families are getting up to Sh500,000 while the deserving cases got nothing.
“The centralisation of the funds will enable a higher number of beneficiaries since it will address the anomalies. There is a big number of learners who need bursaries in the county and the consolidated data will help to regulate them from getting from more than one source.
We don’t want any child in Meru to be sent home due to lack of fees because every needy child is entitled to a bursary to keep him or her in school,” said Dawood.

Dawood called on the government to make the secondary education free in order to make 100 percent transition from primary to secondary school level effective.
The lawmaker said once the students enroll for secondary education seamlessly, the government should come up with mechanism to pay the fees.
Expressing similar sentiments, Kailemia regretted that the duplication of bursaries has forced many needy students to drop out of school due to lack of fees.
“The issuance of bursary funds should be done by the ministry of education where chiefs and school heads are involved since they know the most deserving cases,” said the lawmaker.
However she said she doesn’t duplicate bursaries because she does thorough vetting in order to get the most needy cases.

Ms Kailemia has come up with a plan where they partner with school principals and chiefs to chiefs to identify deserving cases.
“I also give scholarship to needy cases instead of paying fees for them once. This will ensure nobody drops out of school in the course of study.
I also urge the church to intervene by buying uniforms and other items for the needy children in order to lessen the burden for the parents. Let the government tell us the deserving cases because they have the information,’ said Kailemia.
She appealed to the government to increase the amount of bursary fund given to woman representatives across the country noting they don’t meet their target as many students need help especially during this tough economic times yet they are allocated on Sh12 million annually.


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