Babu Owino faults new funding model, claims government 'killing education'

Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili aka Babu Owino. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino has faulted the government over the new university funding model that will see only 45,000 students out of over 800,000 get financial aid.

In a post on X, the MP said that the new system will 'kill' education in the country as only a few can afford it.

"Students who did their KCSE are over 800,000 and the government's intention is to sponsor only 45,000 students. Over 750,000 will not be sponsored."

"That means a parent whose child has been called to take a social science course will be required to pay around Sh300,000 each year, which means for a four-year course, the parent must part with Sh1.2m to take their kids to school, while for a medical course, you need Sh600,000 per year which is not possible," said Owino.

According to the lawmaker, the criteria that the government will use to select the 45,000 to be sponsored is unclear, and therefore many deserving students will miss out of the scholarships

"You are being unfairly selective. The majority of those 800,000 students are needy. Those from the slums, the village, orphans, and those whose parents have retired are all needy. Education is the only thing that these children have to break the poverty bondage and we are killing it," he said.

His remarks come a few weeks to students' admission to different universities in the country which will see the government implement the new university funding model.

In the new system, the government will only support vulnerable students, those from extremely needy, and needy households unlike before when it supported everyone who had scored the eligible marks for funding.

For the longest time, it was a B- until 2016 when it went down to a C+.

Vulnerable learners will access education without paying a cent while those from extremely needy, and needy households will contribute seven per cent of the course cost.

However, according to the Embakasi East MP, the new system will lock out students who are deserving, therefore the government should go back to the old system where everyone who qualifies for university is supported.

"William Ruto and Rigathi Gachagua benefited from the government funds which made them who they are. We need them to put their house in order and go to the old way of application where any student who was called to university is funded by the government," said Owino.