Sakaja unveils Sh857 million bursary cheques for needy students

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja when he unveiled Sh857 million bursary cheques to to 124,100 students at the Nairobi Primary School, Kilimani Ward on January 13, 2024. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has today announced a Sh857 million bursary plan for needy students in 2024.

While launching the bursary cheques at the Nairobi Primary School in Kilimani Ward, Sakaja said the scholarships Sh857,800,000 will be distributed to 124,100 young men and women.

This, he said, brings the county’s spending on bursaries and scholarships since he took office in August 2022 to Sh1.88 billion.

“This amount is more than what was spent by the previous administrations combined. To be clear: of the amount disbursed this year, will go to able students from Nairobi public primary schools admitted to national, extra County and County boarding schools across Nairobi Country,” he said.

Sakaja said his administration has steadily raised its allocation to the ward bursary funds which is currently at Sh7 million per ward up from Sh4.5 million in 2022.

“That means more students from secondary schools across the county will have a clear opportunity to make the most of their talents; and to raise themselves and their families by their own effort,” he noted.

While challenging the beneficiaries to work hard, the governor said the learners must be encouraged to live up to the standard of honesty, diligence and excellence.

“We are not only investing in these bright students. We are investing in all students across the city with our school feeding programme – Dishi na County. By offering children a meal every lunch time we are giving them an opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Sakaja.

According to him, there are many children who do not go to school, or even if they do cannot concentrate due to hunger.

It is for this reason that he introduced the Dishi na County programme in August 2023 in which over 80,000 children in 45 schools were fed.

He said the completion of the 10 central kitchens has seen the county increase the number of children in the feeding programme by over 100,000.

“We now have 184,000 children receiving a hot nutritious meal every lunch time. In the next 12 weeks we shall have constructed another 7 kitchens that will increase the number of children receiving a meal to 250,000,” he said.

Sakaja’s sentiments were echoed by Woman Rep Esther Pasaris who applauded the launch of the bursary cheques saying the two levels of government should consider increasing her bursary kitty to carter for increased demand.

Passaris said unlike the MCAs who handle only their respective wards, her office handles a bigger number from across the county.

Dagoreti North MP Beatrice Elachi in her remarks called on chiefs to help ensure students to go back to school instead of loitering in estates.

Elachi said this will play a key role in curbing vices drug peddling and other crimes.

She said education bursaries must be accounted for through schools’ report cards.