Elgeyo Marakwet sends students to American University

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Kipyegon Rotich when he appeared before the Senate County Public Accounts Committee on the audit queries at Parliament on August 8, 2023. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Elgeyo Marakwet County is sending the first batch of students for partial scholarships in American universities following a deal signed in May.

The programme dubbed 'Pepea' is being implemented as parents and students in the neighboring Uasin Gishu County engage top officials in incessant squabbles over a mismanaged airlift deal that would have seen tens of student's study in Finnish and Canadian universities.

Governor Wisley Rotich said the County's airlift initiative was born out of a deal signed directly between his administration and United States' Harding University located in Arkansas State.

Earlier in the day, Rotich said in the deal, his administration had negotiated a 62 per cent partial scholarship to help parents secure places at the University with parents paying the remaining amount.

On Monday, the Rotich saw off the first batch of three students with four more set to travel as soon as their Visas are ready.

"The county entered an MOU to airlift our students to Harding at 62 percent partial scholarship. We are happy that the program is taking shape," said Governor Rotich.

He said the County was concluding talks with Tacoma College in the US and Torrens University in Australia in another bid to connect Elgeyo Marakwet students under the same partial scholarship plan through direct partnerships.

According to Rotich, through the direct partnerships, the County will avoid situations where payments are remitted through agents but instead remitted directly to the institutions by parents.

"The collaboration with foreign Universities will see students from Elgeyo Marakwet County study institutions abroad at subsidized fees," the governor said.

The governor said currently, at least 75 students from the County have secured admissions to Australian Cambridge International College (CIC) University at a 50 percent scholarship.

"We are in the process of concluding partnership talks with Tacoma College in the USA and Torrens University in Australia in an initiative to support our children," he said adding, "We want to run a transparent airlift programme and students and parents interested in the program are guided by county staff charged with supporting parents with information."