Legislator Demands Increase in CDF Bursaries
Only constitutional amendments to increase NG/CDF funding to densely populated constituencies can help learners in those areas get a better education, according to Thika MP Patrick Wainaina.
Wainaina, who was speaking while distributing Sh35 million in bursaries to 15,000 needy students in his constituency, stated that the amount students in those areas receive as bursaries is insufficient to clear school fee arrears due to increased demand.
He cited the millions of shillings he distributed, claiming that some students would receive as little as Sh2, 500, which would not cover school fees. He stated that the situation has been exacerbated by the high cost of living, which makes it difficult for parents to pay school fees.
“From that huge bursary allocation, some students have received as low as Sh2, 500 against Sh40, 000 fees arrears.
“This has disadvantaged learners from highly populated areas because in other constituencies which are less populated, students are getting close to Sh50, 000, enough to clear school fees for a year. Some of these imbalances should be addressed through the constitution,” said Wainaina.
During the push for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitutional amendment, which the Supreme Court overturned this year, highly populated constituencies were to be split to increase funding and address such imbalances.
Thika Constituency, for example, was to be divided into two and thus receive twice as much NG/CDF.
The MP who stated that the bursary disbursements would assist several cash-strapped parents struggling to pay their children’s second-term school fees.
“The bursaries were given to the neediest students because we know how our families have been hit by the high cost of living and the covid-19 aftershocks. We know the funds are not enough and there is little we can do because the demand is so huge,” he said.
He stated that during his tenure, at least Sh140 million was distributed to over 60,000 students in need.
Beneficiaries led by Susan Wanjiku praised the initiative, saying it would keep children in school for a while.
They did, however, urge the next government, which will be elected in August, to consider providing free primary and secondary education to help students achieve their life goals.
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“Most children are home due to lack of school fees. The bursaries will help ease the frustrations that parents have been going through during this period when the cost of living is unbearable and at least keep the children at school.
“What we can ask the upcoming government to do is to make education free so that we can help the children realize their dreams,” said Wanjiku.