Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti on Thursday launched an education bursaries drive worth Sh80 million.
She also outlined her plan to boost the county’s education standards, which includes a Sh30 million schools feeding program.
Speaking during the event hosted at the Machakos International Convention Center, Wavinya reached out to corporate institutions and other well wishers to help in financing education needs.
She said that a huge number of students were in dire need of assistance.
Wavinya appealed to school principals and head teachers to keep learners in school even as they grapple with the serious delays of capitation funds from the Ministry of Education.
The governor noted that high poverty levels among households was a serious threat to education, saying that she had received many distress calls by many parents whose children had been sent away from school.
“My government seeks to map out all these needy cases especially where students are orphaned to ensure they do not lose the opportunity to excel in life with regard to their future careers,” she said.
She said the program will target scholars in high school, TVET institutions, as well as universities.
“Today we gather here to inject hope where there was despair. To inject life into dreams and visions of our young scholars. We shall also guard the dreams of our young ones in early childhood development education centers and people with special needs,” Wavinya said.
The governor announced she had initiated a further Sh30 million fund for schools feeding program dubbed “Chakula Tumboni, Masomo Kichwani.”
Deputy governor, Francis Mwangangi, lauded the governor for bringing on board different stakeholders in the education, adding that for the last 10 years the county leadership had not held such an event.
"We stand behind governor Wavinya's efforts to mobilize resources beyond our county budget to mop up financial resources to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds," Mwangangi said.
He said the support from the county was instrumental in ensuring Kwanthanze Secondary School Girls Volleyball Team became the Champions of Africa and we're now set to compete in the world stage.
Mr Mwangangi urged members of Parliament to also allocate substantial amount to bursaries to enable needy students continue schooling without interruption.
Wavinya revealed her administration had procured teaching and learning materials worth sh 10 million.
Pauline Kyule, a form four student at St Joseph’s Nzukini Secondary School in Masinga Sub County could not hide her joy after receiving news that she had been listed as one of the beneficiaries.
“I am happy that with the award I have received, I will not miss classes anymore. I will now settle in school to prepare for my KCSE examination,” she said.
Principal of Kakuyuni Secondary School in Kangundo Sub County, Charles Kavili whose school received sh 96,000 cheque said the amount would go a long way in keeping students in class.
“We thank the governor for this noble move that will no doubt relieve parents and at the same time help us procure food items for the school feeding program,” said Kavili.