The African Canadian Continuing Education Society (ACCES) in Kenya, in collaboration with the Kakamega County Government, has allocated Sh41.7 million towards providing higher education opportunities for 100 students. The four-year sponsorship aims to empower bright yet financially disadvantaged individuals to pursue their academic aspirations.
The initiative has commenced with the disbursement of an initial amount of Sh10,425,000 to the selected students, enabling them to enroll in universities and colleges of their choice.
Governor Fernandes Barasa of Kakamega County expressed his appreciation for ACCES Kenya’s commitment to transforming lives through education. Over the past three decades, ACCES Kenya has sponsored more than 4,000 students from Western Kenya, opening doors to educational opportunities for those who might not have otherwise had access.
During the presentation of the Sh10.4 million cheque, Governor Barasa highlighted the significance of the scholarship. The program supports 100 students annually, with this year’s beneficiaries comprising 63 students from Kakamega County and 37 from Bungoma, Busia, and Vihiga Counties.
From a pool of 937 applicants, a selection panel shortlisted 250 candidates and ultimately chose the final 100 through a rigorous assessment process. Governor Barasa revealed that 11 students from Kakamega County are currently pursuing higher education in foreign countries through the ACCES scholarship.
Governor Barasa encouraged the recipients to seize the opportunity to excel academically and become beacons of progress for Kakamega County and the wider region. He emphasized the competitive nature of the modern world and urged the students to aim for excellence.
To supplement the ACCES scholarship, Kakamega County Government also supports 12 students, one from each sub-county, with comprehensive scholarships throughout their university studies. Governor Barasa underlined the dual significance of this initiative: supporting talented and underprivileged students while fostering expertise in fields like medicine, engineering, and information technology.
Governor Barasa reiterated Kakamega County’s commitment to supporting the scholars until the completion of their studies. He called on potential partners to collaborate through Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to fortify the county’s developmental pursuits.
Furthermore, Governor Barasa urged the national government to consider devolving primary and secondary education. He highlighted that county governments are mandated to oversee polytechnics and early childhood development centers (ECDE), but are often compelled to provide assistance at the primary, high school, and tertiary levels.
In light of the changing funding landscape for higher education, Governor Barasa urged fair opportunities for deserving students, particularly in light of the evolving funding model. He encouraged organizations like the University Funding Board and the Higher Education Loans Board to streamline information dissemination to ensure transparency and equal access.
Pape Sembi, Chair of the ACCES Kenya Advisory Board, celebrated the organization’s 30-year milestone in assisting those in need. He called for increased partnerships to continue expanding educational opportunities for students in need.