As the inaugural batch of students benefiting from the Elimu scholarship program prepares to sit for their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams later this year, the Kenyan government has committed to ensuring that those who proceed to universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions receive continued financial support.
Under the revamped higher education funding model, the Ministry of Education, represented by Beth Kitoo, the Director of Projects Coordination and Delivery, has assured students that the Elimu scholarship program will fully cover their tertiary education expenses.
Kitoo emphasized that this funding commitment will significantly alleviate the financial burdens faced by academically gifted students from vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds. She highlighted that the implementation of the new funding model aligns with the program’s goal of ensuring continuity and sustainability.
“The new funding model came just at the right time because any program that is implemented must have a sustainability plan. We are very happy because we know that our scholars under the Elimu scholarship, who are sitting for KCSE exam later this year, will be supported under the new funding model, 100 percent,” she stated.
Addressing students on Friday, Kitoo urged them to remain diligent in their studies to continue benefiting from the program and to realize their aspirations. She expressed confidence that with the financial support provided by the government and its partners, students have every reason to excel in their academic pursuits.
Kitoo also commended the Equity Foundation for its effective management of the program, which is funded by the government in collaboration with other donors. She highlighted that the program’s success has made it one of the standout initiatives within the Ministry of Education, providing valuable lessons for future endeavors.
Presently, the Elimu scholarship program has 37,575 beneficiaries enrolled in various secondary schools across the country. Kitoo expressed optimism about the program’s expansion, envisioning its capacity to accommodate up to 52,000 scholars, including this year’s Class 8 candidates.
Speaking to 1,000 Elimu scholarship beneficiaries during a mentorship event at Baricho Boys in Kirinyaga, Kitoo underscored the importance of maintaining good behavior and adopting a positive attitude towards life. She reassured students that the government will support schoolgirls who have left school due to pregnancy, with efforts aimed at ensuring their reentry to continue their education.
Kirinyaga University Vice Chancellor Prof. Mary Ndung’u lauded the government’s introduction of the new university funding model, emphasizing its potential to transform access to higher education for Kenyan students.
“We are grateful to the government for its boldness in devising and its willingness to implement the funding model. We have been looking forward to this all these years because it seeks to bring fairness and equity in access to university education,” she remarked.
Kirinyaga West Deputy County Commissioner John Mbugua cautioned students against drug and substance abuse, emphasizing that such habits jeopardize their future prospects. He expressed concern over the global challenge parents face in guiding their children away from harmful behaviors.
Kirinyaga Central Sub-County Administrator Martin Gacheru encouraged scholarship recipients to leverage their education to drive positive change within their communities, country, and continent. He urged them to become a generation that upholds education’s value for societal progress, refraining from seeking self-interest and unlawful wealth.
Equity Foundation representatives reiterated their commitment to supporting students throughout their secondary school journey, emphasizing continuous mentoring and guidance to ensure academic success.
As the government reaffirms its commitment to empowering young scholars through the Elimu scholarship program, students, educators, and parents alike anticipate a brighter future for academically promising yet financially disadvantaged students across Kenya.