More than 280 students who excelled in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) but hail from poor families have benefited from Shs.100million bursary fund disbursed by Kisumu County government.
Another Shs.30million donation from Kenya Commercial Bank was received of which a dummy cheque was unveiled at Tom Mboya College bringing the total amount to Shs.130million towards the full scholarship to cater for Form One to Four tuition.
Kisumu Governor, Jack Ranguma promised to ensure the students get sponsored all the way to University if they maintained good academic grades to justify the support.
Ranguma was speaking on Wednesday when he issued the cheques to the beneficiaries at Tom Mboya Labour College, disclosing that the total number of those already put on the bursary program stands at 510 for the year 2016 and 2017.
The Governor challenged local residents to prioritise education of their children as this was only inheritance they could hand down to them to safeguard their future.
He described Kisumu County bursary fund as a landmark initiative founded by himself and Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) with a view to operationalizing the fund.
The governor remembered with nostalgia a former powerful Paramount Chief, the late Odera Kang’o of Gem who made history in the lives of the Luo community having insisted that everyone had to take their children to school or be punished heavily.
Ranguma confided that he went through a lot of hardship during his academic journey and quite often would be sent home for school fees which was merely Sh.448 in a year but was hard to be raised by his father a tailor and mother who sold mandazis at Kibuye.
“I am passionate about this bursary program to bring out quality education for our children so that they may compete on the same footing with other students,” he explained.
He said in August, 2016 his government issued out cheques for the same bursary fund to 230 beneficiaries bringing the total number of needy students supported so far to 510.
“The county government also caters for their transport, pocket money, sanitary pads, uniforms and tuition fees thus why they are commonly referred to as Ranguma’s children,” he revealed.
However, the governor challenged the beneficiaries to work hard to be able to impact on their lives and those of their siblings in future.
He appealed to the Asian and entire business fraternity in Kisumu to come forth and assist the ever rising number of needy students who require the bursary funding.
On the on-going doctors’ strike, Ranguma said most of them were young people who hailed from wealthy backgrounds and so they did not lay emphasis on having the commitment as a calling and this is why we are supporting the needy to help reverse this attitude.