Relief to 32,800 students as county releases Sh215m bursary

Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga leads students in displaying a dummy bursary cheque in Rangwe Constituency. [James Omoro, Standard]

More than 32,800 vulnerable students in Homa Bay can now breathe a sigh of relief after the county government began disbursing bursaries worth Sh215m.

The students learn in secondary schools, vocational training centers (VTCs) and universities across all the 40 wards in the county.

Among the students, 32,000 will benefit from the general bursary in which the least amount allocated to a student is Sh5, 000. These students are parting with Sh160m.

The county government is also running two full scholarship programmes dubbed Fins to Swim for secondary school students and Genowa Fundi Mang’ula Scholarship for supporting students who are joining VTCs. 

A total of 600 students will benefit from Fundi Mang’ula while 240 students will benefit from Fins to Swim. These will cost Sh55m.

Homa Bay Governor Gladys launched distribution of the bursary cheques at Rariw Chief’s camp in Rangwe Constituency.

Wanga who was accompanied by her Deputy Oyugi Magwanga, CECMs Martin Opere, Dannish Onyango and Solomon Obiero, said her administration had increased bursary allocation to Sh4m per ward from 2.5m last year.

The governor said she put proper strategies in place to ensure only needy students were listed as beneficiaries.

“We formed village clusters which selected the students who are benefiting based on how villagers understand one another on the basis of vulnerability. Therefore, the beneficiaries are vulnerable students who were identified by their village mates based on their vulnerability levels,” Wanga said.

She said her administration is committed to investing in educating Homa Bay children to enable them to become productive people in future.  This drove her to support the financially challenged parents.

“Their parents have pressure and the pressure is a community pressure. If we fail to give this bursary, many students will fail to acquire education. My administration has prioritized education to enable this county to have productive people who will take over from us after retirement,” Wanga said.

The governor urged students to work hard in academics to enhance realization of funds being invested in them.

“Today, many parents are unable to buy the desirable clothing because they are supporting the education of their children. I urge the students not to disappoint parents and the county government,” Wanga said.

Magwanga urged students to demonstrate the highest standards of discipline to enhance their success in academics.

“Let our students desist from insulting or assaulting teachers and burning schools. They should remember that discipline is the key to success,” Magwanga said.

“My son was going to miss school fees. Thanks for the bursary,” said Moses Owili, a parent.

Beatrice Odeny, another parent, said she had been overwhelmed by school fees.

“I have many children who depend on me for school fees. This bursary has come at a time when my financial sources were dry,” Odeny said.

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