Tana River County Governor Major (rtd) Dhadho Gaddae Godhana has embarked on an exercise to disburse about Sh37.8 million ‘push up’ fund to boost school enrolment this year.
The governor launched the programme by issuing cheques to a number of head teachers in the county at a ceremony held at the Mau Mau Memorial Girls Secondary School over the weekend.
He said the programme was a stop-gap measure as the county executive and legislature look for ways of sustaining students in school through bursaries.
In the programme, 5,639 students studying within the county will receive a total of Sh24.7 million; with those in form one getting Sh5000 each. Students in forms two and three will receive Sh4, 000 each while 1,465 students studying outside the county will get a total of Sh7.2 million.
The governor said 512 students in middle-level colleges would get Sh2.5 million while 672 university students would share Sh3.4 million. Sh880,000 will be shared among 176 pupils in special schools.
He at the same time announced that each of the ten best students in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education will receive Sh50,000 each, paid directly to their respective schools’ accounts.
He called on school principals not to send away any students on account of non-payment of fees.The governor at the same time urged teachers and students to work harder to improve the standards of education in the county, which he said were wanting.
In January this year, the county government spent Sh37.5 million to pay school fees for students in form four and arrears for last year’s form four students.
He was however forced to dig deeper into the county’s coffers and set aside a further Sh37.8 million after a county-wide outcry over failure by thousands of students in the county to take up their form one places.
“The purpose of this programme is to eliminate all excuses for failure in this county. As I work towards seeing our children in school studying, you teachers must triple your efforts to yield better results,” he said.
He said the Ward Bursary fund, CDF and other initiatives including the soon to be established Governor’s scholarship program would see students sail through their education with minimal bottlenecks.
He encouraged students to work towards achieving quality grades and by cultivating a positive attitude toward education. He however warned that in future, his government would not consider funding students who snub local schools and seek enrolment outside the county as most of them did this year.
“You should not expect my government to pay fees for students who have refused to take up their places in our schools. Those individuals who were called to join our local schools and instead fled to other counties should re-think their steps and come back,” he said.
He said only special cases of students called to national and extra-county schools outside the county will be considered alongside those who join local schools.
He warned school heads against inflating the number of students in their schools in order to get a bigger share of the funds.