Plans to offer scholarships secured in the US and European universities to 600 bright students are at an advanced stage.
Embu Governor Martin Wambora said the ambitious project kicked off by training secondary school principals who are spearheading identification of beneficiaries in their localities.
Speaking in Runyenjes, Mr Wambora said the first batch of beneficiaries will start learning in March.
“In partnership with other well-wishers, we have started the Governor Martin Wambora Embu County Airlift to benefit 200 bright students next year. Studies will commence in March and vetting is ongoing,” he said.
He said the county government will help the beneficiaries acquire Visas and pay for their air tickets.
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“In 2021 and 2022, another 400 students will be selected to pursue their studies in the US and on completion will be assisted to secure jobs there,” he said.
The governor, who pursued his post graduate studies in the US, also promised to use his networks to help the beneficiaries secure jobs there.
Wambora also said his government had established an Education Support Fund in 2014, which has benefited over 80,000 needy students to date with Sh634 million worth of bursaries.
He added that over 40 needy secondary school students have benefited from governors scholarships. Meanwhile, MCAs have allayed fears that they embezzled funds meant for bursaries for needy children in the 2018/2019 Financial Year.
Education Committee Chairman Patrick Mukavi dismissed the allegations on social media as unfounded and malicious, saying MCAs had no capacity to cash funds from the county treasury.
Mr Mukavi said Sh53 million, out of a total kitty of Sh103 million was not released to the county treasury during the fiscal period that has since lapsed.
“The Sh50 million that was released earlier benefited needy students in polytechnics and day secondary schools who had applied for financial assistance. The remaining tranche was to be released soon after, but the National Treasury held on to the funds until the financial year ended, leaving the intended beneficiaries helpless,” he said.
He said after consultation with education officials, an agreement was made to release the money to the intended beneficiaries after the County Assembly approves a supplementary budget.
He however said ward bursary committees would have to replace the beneficiaries who had already completed their studies.