2,000 needy students given wings to fly
By Abigael Sum
| January 17th 2015
Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged to raise the standards within our education sector as well as expanding educational opportunities to all Kenyans regardless of background.
Kenyatta noted that even though enrollment in primary and secondary education has increased significantly, poverty continues to undermine transition rates to secondary schools.
He pledged the government’s commitment to scale up investment in education to sustain ongoing efforts to increase enrolment in free primary education programme and as well as the subsidised secondary education programme.
“In the next few years, we are working to ensure every child is able to complete basic education which is from nursery to secondary school and that no single child is denied the opportunity to realise their dreams,” he added.
The President spoke yesterday during the commissioning of Equity Group Foundation ‘Wings to Fly’ scholars for the 2015 intake at Safaricom Stadium Kasarani, Nairobi.
Equity Group’s ambitious scholarship programme will fund the education of 2,000 bright pupils from needy families who completed the 2014 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination.
The Wings to Fly programme is a partnership between Equity Group Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation, with support from USAid, UKAid and KfW.
The programmes has surpassed its target of 10,000 beneficiaries and aiming to support another 20,000 beneficiaries in the next phase.
Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi urged other Kenyans and corporates to support such noble projects that are transforming the lives of bright students from disadvantaged homes.
“This is not just about education, it is about human life, reclaiming dignity to our kids and making them more conscious about the dynamics of society. No child applies to be born in a challenging environment, if given an opportunity they will fly and flourish,” he said.
The scholarship pays for tuition, boarding, books, uniform, transport costs and pocket money for four years. In addition, the scholars receive mentoring and leadership development to equip them for their future lives.
President Kenyatta commended the programme for nurturing leadership skills of our youth through mentoring and social transformation initiatives.
“We are keen on expanding educational opportunities to all Kenyans regardless of background. We are also committed to rapidly improving quality of education and training to fit our human resource needs. The programme challenges our system to rise to the full promise and to go beyond the classroom driven to mentorship and produce all rounded and empowered citizens. It is the only way our education system will meet the needs of a country accelerating for take o-ff,” said the Head of State.
Dreams come true
He said the Wings to fly programme greatly boosts the government’s efforts in achieving Vision 2030 adding that it compliments a very large scale of the government’s commitment to ensure no deserving child misses the opportunity to realise their dreams.
“It enables us to look beyond poverty, vulnerability and to see possibility. It is a chance to give young Kenyans with great potential an opportunity of a lifetime,” said the President.
He added: “Education is transformative and this is the greatest intervention we can make for our children. It is an opportunity to empower them, conquer poverty and contribute to national growth.”
The President said the Government considers stewarding national transformation aimed at rapid take-off as one of its duties but without wings to fly, take-off is a pipe dream.
“Individuals must be empowered with ability and opportunity for them to conquer poverty and contribute to national development. Education brings opportunity to every Kenyan child. It is a phenomenally transformative intervention for nations as well as individuals. I urged the beneficiaries of the scholarship programme to grab the opportunity with both hands and show the world why they deserved it more than anyone else,” he told the beneficiaries.
Kenyatta called on governors, Members of Parliament and other leaders to help and support those who were not lucky to receive the wings to fly scholarship because they too deserve to pursue their studies further.
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