Three hundred bright needy students from poverty-stricken families have received a one year scholarship from Magarini National Government Constituency Development funds at a cost of Ksh 5.7 million.
The scholarship program is an initiative of Magarini Member of Parliament Michael Kingi aimed at ensuring bright needy students who score 350 marks and above join secondary schools and encourage those behind to work harder.
Magarini NG-CDF Chairman Samson Kombe said this year students performed well in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education than the previous years adding that together with the 300 given scholarships by NG-CDF the total beneficiaries of scholarships are 1000.
Speaking during the official handing over of cheques to the beneficiaries at the NG-CDF offices in Gongoni presided over by area MCA Albert Kiraga who was representing the MP Kombe said in the previous years they used to issue between Ksh 3 and Ksh 4 million but due to the increased performance the amount has rose to Ksh 5.7 million.
“The funds will help the parents because the current economic situation together with the Covid-19 pandemic have made many parents to have challenges in paying fees for their children, but many are happy today because fees will be paid for one year,” he said.
The NG-CDF chairman said they have been forced to fundraise for others who can not afford even to buy school uniforms, books and fare to travel to school.
He said others got support from Equity bank, Cooperative bank, Salt firms among other institutions that are supporting to improve the education of the area
He warned students who were changing beneficiary lists of the cheques issued to suit them alone instead of all those who have been listed in the cheques.
Kombe said they have also embarked on a program to build girls dormitories in four schools which are almost complete to keep girls in school and prevent them from becoming victims of teenage pregnancy.
The chairman said before they took office the constituency had only one dormitory but in the next one month there will be five which will be complete with some which shall be handed over this August.
“We have begun a process of improving the infrastructure in our schools, many had insufficient buildings and did not have laboratories and even dorms.
The MCA on his part said currently there were proper strategies to improve the education standards in Magarini through the scholarships, building labs and dormitories.
During his time Kiraga said they used to go to see laboratories while in form three and had to be taken to other schools which contributed a lot to poor performance in science subjects.
To date he said most students perform poorly in science subjects and end up doing art courses after completing high school.
“Imagine one could be in form three and not even aware what a microscope is, we would see it for the first time in other schools and it was difficult for one to perform better,” he said.
Kiraga said with the establishment of twin labs in secondary schools soon Magarini will begin performing well in science subjects.
“The dorms being built by Magarini NG-CDF will really help our students especially the girls because they undergo many challenges, when they sleep in school they will concentrate as opposed to sleeping outside, even teenage pregnancies will reduce,” he said.
Fredrick Nguwa a beneficiary of the scholarship said the initiative was nice and if it goes on will help more students.
He said on the ground many children want to go to school but parents cannot afford the costs due to the high poverty levels.
“If CDF will continue sponsoring students it will be of help to use parents who cannot afford the costs of education,” he said.