By Jilian Anyango
At least 2,500 students will continue to benefit from the Lamu Scholarship and bursary programme initiative aimed at improving education standards in the county.
Lamu Education Chief Officer Abdalla Ahmed says the County government has so far set aside Kshs 120 million for scholarships and bursaries programme in order to achieve the 100 percent transition plan.
He was speaking during the 3rd County Integrated Development Programme (CIDP III) stakeholders’ forum held at the Lamu Youth Assembly Building in Amu Island ealy in the week.
“In the last financial year (2020-2021), Kshs 88,409, 529 million was used to facilitate the scholarship programme that motivated more children to achieve 300 marks in a bid to qualify for the initiative,” he said.
The programme which has been in place since 2017 has seen a jump in the number of students qualifying for scholarships up from a paltry 160 to more than 800 students qualifying for the initiative after attaining 300 marks in their KCPE exams.
He further revealed that the county government had disbursed Kshs 57,332,853 million for bursaries of which 7,785 students benefited from the kit.
Students in day secondary schools got Kshs 6,000 while those at boarding schools were entitled to Kshs 10,000 each.
For tertiary institutions students got Kshs 10,000, certificates, Kshs 15,000, Diploma courses while those in university received Kshs 20,000 in bursaries.
Lamu County Bursary Fund CEO Maliha Mohammed Ali stated further added that students studying at the local TVETs benefited from full sponsorship for their courses including the payment of exam fees.
On her part Lamu West Sub County deputy director Rukia Ali stated that there is need to ensure the sustainability of the bursary and scholarship programme adding that students from marginalized areas such as Boni should be given first priority to enable them to continue with their studies smoothly.
Lamu County Governor Issa Abdalla Timamy has already indicated that his administration would lower the current cut off scholarship mark from 300 marks to 250 marks for marginalized communities within Lamu.
“There is also need to ensure the timely disbursement of scholarship and bursary funds so that no parent apportions blame on the county government not releasing fees on time,” Umulkher Ahmed, Muslim Women Advancement of Rights and Protection (MWARP) Lamu County coordinator stated.
She pleaded to stakeholders to ensure school feeding programme is implemented to the later.