MANDERA, Kenya Jan 19 – Some 13,713 needy students will benefit from a scholarship funded by Mandera County Government to pursue secondary and university education.
Mandera Governor Ali Roba on Tuesday disbursed Sh110 million kitty to beneficiaries to support students selected from poor and vulnerable backgrounds to access education.
The bursary will support 8,312 students in secondary schools another 5,401 pursuing diploma and degree courses in colleges and universities.
Said Roba: “financial exclusion from education is an issue across Mandera County with direct and associated education costs barring brilliant children from poor backgrounds from accessing education. User costs remain a significant barrier to education access for children from low income families.”
“Mandera county still has high levels of poverty with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics putting Turkana, Mandera, Kakamega and Samburu among the counties with poorest populations. Many residents lack basic facilities like connectivity to electricity, piped water and paved roads due to decades of marginalization and vulnerability to climate change impacts of long dry spells and flash floods that follow the rains,” Roba said.
“Over the last five years, we have disbursed a total Sh440 million to support the needy bright students.
Roba however, decried how deteriorating security situation was hurting efforts of access to education.
While other Kenyans resumed learning after the Covid-19 break, we are faced with a crisis in the education sector. Learning is paralysed throughout the county because of Al-Shabaab terror menace.
He said Teachers Service Commission withdrew all non-local teachers. “We have 57 public secondary schools and 295 public primary schools respectively. Due TSC’s withdrawal of teachers, the shortage of teachers in Mandera County stands at 1,849 for primary schools whereas in public secondary schools the shortage is 517.”
The impact of our children failing to access education is tantamount to socio-economic sabotage. Al-Shabaab has succeeded in stopping learning in our region. We risk having a generation of people who never acquired education.
We appeal to President Kenyatta to help us ensure the National Government secures equal access to basic education for the people of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa Counties who are equally affected by TSC actions.