President Uhuru Kenyatta has wrapped up his triumphant visit to Central Kenya by joining students and teachers of Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls High School in Nyeri County for mass.
The President, who was accompanied by Nyeri political leaders, joined more than 1,000 students of the school, teachers and parents to pray at Ngandu, which became a national school three years ago.
Addressing the students after the service, President Kenyatta said the Government will continue investing more resources in education to create equality among all Kenyans.
President Kenyatta said education is the best tool to equip citizens with skills and knowledge to compete on the same level.
He said the Government will continue increasing budgetary allocations to secondary schools to achieve the goal of completely free secondary education within the next five years.
“My dream is to ensure that we get to a stage within the next five years where we have totally free education both at secondary and primary schools,” said the President. “No parent should dig into his or her pockets to educate children and we will achieve that objective soon.”
The President said budgetary allocations to schools, referred to as ‘capitation’, will be increased gradually until it pays for all the fees of each student.
Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls High School has not increased any fees in the past year.
The school administration revealed that the Ksh 13,800 capitalisation allocated to every student per year and supplemented with allocations from the Government for National Schools was enough to cater for them.
The President also used the occasion, which fell on Valentine’s Day — a day of love — to underscore the important role women play in Kenya.
President Kenyatta said some of the biggest achievements by the Government have been championed by women and called on the girls to work hard with the knowledge that Kenya is ready for the women in bigger roles.
The President was presented with a bouquet of flowers by the students.
The President made a personal donation of Ksh1 million to a project of choice by the school.
On his way back from the Church, President Kenyatta addressed residents of Kiamariga village and stopped to acknowledge greetings from pupils from schools located near State Lodge, Sagana.
The President, who has been in the region since Wednesday, has held fruitful meetings with local leaders on a roadmap to drive the economy of the region.
He hosted some 2,500 leaders from the five counties of Central Kenya joined by others from Laikipia and Nakuru to discuss roadmaps for development. The President held a subsequent meeting with a group of 500 Nyeri leaders with a promise to come back to the region to visit other more counties.
The President announced that the Government will put in place measures to boost the economy.
First on the list is the revival of the coffee sector. The President is expected to form a committee that will look into the woes that have bedevilled the business. The committee will come up with recommendations to make the cash crop profitable again.
The President also announced that the war against illegal alcohol will be renewed with an assurance that no efforts will be spared to bring the menace to an end.
On Wednesday and Thursday, President Kenyatta hosted the 5th National and County Governments Co-ordination Summit.
On Saturday, the President was greeted by a tumultuous crowd of some 50,000 residents and supporters when he visited the high altitude town of Nanyuki, Laikipia County, to attend a thanksgiving ceremony hosted by Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri.
In an Olympic year, residents were keen that the President works with the county government to improve athletics training facilities, so that a history of high performance started by the likes of John Ngugi is rekindled.