NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 6 – The Starehe Boys Centre has embarked on a funds drive aimed at raising up to half a billion shillings to assist needy students in the school for the next fifty years.,
Deputy Director Joseph Gikubu said on Monday that this will ensure the continuation of the school’s tradition of catering for needy students who are three quarters of the institution’s population. Mr Gikubu said the moneys collected will cater solely for the fees of students affected by poverty.
“The plan that we have is to put the money in a bank so that we may be able to use the interest generated to pay for fees,” he said.
He called on students in primary schools to put more effort in their studies so as to benefit from the initiative.
“When we began the Starehe Boys Centre, we began with poor children. I am appealing to other poor primary school children to work hard and get good marks so that we may be able to help them,” he stated.
Starehe Boys Centre and School is unique for a Kenyan independent school in that it educates at least 70 percent of its students free, and the rest at a reduced rate.
School fees are paid on a means-tested basis, with substantial subsidies paid by the school so that students from all walks of life are able to have a comprehensive, high quality, public school education.
The entrance process uses results from the KCPE exams and prefers to award school places to those who show academic potential that would benefit from the high quality environment that the school offers to those that would otherwise not be able to afford it.
The number of students who pay fees is limited to 30 percent of the Starehe population, who may also receive some form of support, and the number of students who pay no fees is 70 percent of the population.
It is governed by a Managing Committee which is chaired by Patrick Obath – the former Managing Director of Kenya Shell and BP – who are the main sponsors since its inception.
Admission of students is by open competitive examination of the applicants – who send a filled "Yellow Form" before the 31st of July of the year preceding intended admission.
Each year about 20,000 applications are received but only 210 are selected to join the student body and about six places are left for very needy situations where the applicant might not have found a chance to apply but still merited.
The suitability of candidates is judged according to criteria of need and parental income and their performance in the national KCPE examinations. It is solely based on merit.