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Governor Amos Nyaribo
Governor Amos Nyaribo addressing parents and students at Nyamira’s Jamuhuri Gardens when he launched the bursaries. Photo/Arnold Ageta

By Arnold Ageta

Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo has issued bursaries worth 66 million to needy students in Forms 1 and 2.

Governor Nyaribo, while addressing parents and students at Jamuhuri Gardens during the event, said the bursaries meant for Form 1 will next financial year be issued to Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) and Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) because the Form 1 class will be phased out.

“We also have a scholarship program that is currently sponsoring 751 high school students,” he announced. “This was my initiative because I realized there are some very poor students who, even when given bursaries, will not be assisted.”

Some of the scholarship beneficiaries, he said, were admitted to national schools which they cannot afford given their poor background. “We set up this system so that their chances of excelling in life are not diminished,” Nyaribo said.

The governor promised that going forward, he will increase the scholarship fund as they plan to phase out bursaries. He further announced that the county’s priorities will shift to vocational training and ECDE, where they want to nurture young kids and empower the youths who join VTCs.

“Therefore, we will be focusing on that aspect of ECDE to make sure little children get it right early in life so that they do not fail any exam,” he argued. The governor observed that currently, a good number of students are dropping out of universities and enrolling in diploma courses.

He, however, regretted that most medical staff are seeking jobs out of the country, crippling the health sector in Nyamira.

“Last year we employed 40 medical staff, but 60 have left the county for greener pastures outside Kenya,” he announced. “We are now forced to hire other medical staff to fill the gaps left, and this will be done very soon.”

He reiterated that going outside the country is not a solution, saying they should stay in the country to contribute to its development.

“Unemployment has greatly contributed to many skilled graduates seeking jobs outside the country,” he said.

On the other side, parents were happy for the support the governor was extending to them, saying they are facing difficult economic times where they are unable to raise school fees for their children. Charles Arasa, who spoke on behalf of parents, said as the situation is in Kenya, any little financial support goes a long way for those who are poor in society.

Section of parents following the Governor Nyaribo's address at the event. Photo/Arnold Ageta
Section of parents following Governor Nyaribo’s address at the event. Photo/Arnold Ageta

Arasa threw parents and students at the event into laughter when he asked the governor to prioritize education support as opposed to road construction, which is done but swept away by rains.

“We need more funding in education because there is nothing you can do to be praised besides helping the poor to educate their children,” said Arasa.

Nyamira County KUPPET Executive Secretary Evans Obiri applauded the governor for employing ECDE teachers on permanent terms, saying they play a key role in nurturing children to develop in their early years.

“We would like the county to cater well for the ECDE teachers so that our children can get the best services as they grow,” Obiri said.

He further stated that education is the catalyst for any development agenda that needs special attention.

Students from various secondary schools pose for a photo with Governor Nyaribo as they display a dummy cheque of KSh. 66 million awarded to them. A total of 22,000 students will benefit from these bursaries. Photo/Arnold Ageta
Students from various secondary schools pose for a photo with Governor Nyaribo as they display a dummy cheque of KSh. 66 million awarded to them. A total of 22,000 students will benefit from these bursaries. Photo/Arnold Ageta

The event was also attended by the County Assembly of Nyamira Committee on Education, led by Samwel Ogeto, the current chairperson. Ogeto said that the bursary initiative is one of the best programs in the county, given that it is supposed to be handled by the national government.

“This is purely a national government function, but we are here assisting our parents who elected us,” he said.

Echoing the governor’s scholarship program, Ogeto said the program is a game changer in the county and it is impressive.

“And now we have more than 22,000 students who are going to be awarded bursaries across the county,” he added.

He asked the governor to consider a new initiative that will help VTC students start businesses upon graduation.

“As we train these students, we must look for a fund to assist them in creating jobs for themselves because there are no jobs,” urged Ogeto.

At the event, the governor also issued supplies to various VTCs across the county to help improve their teaching and knowledge transfer.

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