Bungoma county is planning to hold a marathon dubbed the Governor’s Scholarship Marathon that is expected to grow funds kitty.
Area Governor Wycliffe Wangamati says they will be holding the Governor’s Scholarship Marathon in April/May 2020.
The Marathon hopes to raise some Sh20 million to the kitty.
Wangamati says that with the help of the Scholarship Board, he will be reaching out to entities with interest in education including MasterCard and Ford Foundation for support.
In January 2020, the devolved unit awarded scholarships to 650 bright and needy students in National and Extra County schools.
“We also renewed scholarships to some 486 needy students, now in Form 3 and another 450 in Form 2 in various schools including Alliance Girls and Boys, Kenya High, Pangani Girls, Kapsabet Boys, Lugulu Girls, Friends School Kamusinga, StMary’s Kibabii among others,” said Wangamati.
He continued, “This brings to 1,536 the total number of students on full scholarship since I assumed office. Through this programme, a son to Mama Mboga or daughter to Boda Boda from Bungoma County is sharing a classroom with sons and daughters of Cabinet Secretaries, Ambassadors, Governors, Senators and even MCAs,”.
Wangamati observed that apart from engaging in other development projects such as a roads, markets and even hospitals, scholarships is the only way to lift people out of the vicious cycle of poverty.
“It’s the only way we prepare our children for the future and it’s the only opportunity children from poor backgrounds become what they want to be, the same way a son of a minister chooses what to be in life,” he said.
The County CEO stated that it is through the scholarship that the poor and vulnerable in our midst have a fighting chance in life.
He pointed out that in 10 years, about 5,000 students shall have gone through the scholarship programme.
“I am excited about the many doctors, engineers, lawyers, economists and scholars in the making. The beneficiaries of this programme will change not just the face of Bungoma but Kenya and beyond,” said Wangamati.
He continued, “While this does appear like a great story, it actually falls short of sealing the cracks through which hundreds of our sons and daughters are falling and failing to transition to the next level of education,”.
He stated that they have a budget that limits the number of students it can award full scholarship.
“For every student we pick, there are up to 5 deserving cases that are left out of the program,” he said.
Wangamati appealed to the county assembly at an opportune time to help him realize the dream of educating many bright but from needy backgrounds.
“At an appropriate time, I will be coming back to this floor to seek the sanction and clearance of this honourable House to increase the number of beneficiaries of the County Scholarship Fund from 650 to 1,200,” Wangamati said.
He also wants the county assembly to help him lower the qualification marks for one to get the scholarship from the current 350 marks to 300 at KCPE.
Wangamati assured residents that children admitted in County schools will not be left out and will also benefit from the county ward bursary.
“Last year, we issued bursaries to some 25,000 needy students in high schools and Vocational Training Centres. Some 550 needy students from across the County attending county schools have benefited from the Bursary Fund,” he said.
He was delivering the state of the county address in the county assembky where Wangamati confirmed that this year, the county is set to award bursaries to some 25,000 students hopefully by mid this month, the bursary money shall be in our accounts