Lazy and irresponsible students who are not consistent in their performance risk losing education scholarships from the Lamu County government.
Lamu MCAs have said they will not sit back and watch as the county government’s money is spent on paying school fees for students performing poorly despite getting the rare bursary assistance.
This year, the county set aside Sh127 million to cater for bursaries for students in secondary schools, colleges and universities.
The county government also announced that all students who scored over 300 marks in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam last year will get sponsorship.
But speaking to journalist outside the Lamu County Assembly, the MCAs led by the Finance Chairman Azhar Mbarak cautioned students who become lazy immediately after getting fees sponsorship that they will either receive less money from the county government depending on their performance or even loose the scholarship entirely.
Mr Mbarak, who is the Shela Ward MCA, insisted that the bursary and scholarship programme only targets bright students in the county.
He called on parents to closely monitor their children and advise them to work hard and be consistent in their performance so that the county government can continue to cater for their school fees.
“The county government has prioritised education and that is why we have allocated millions of shillings to cater for the sector this year. We have already assured locals that all students getting 300 marks and above in KCPE will get direct sponsorship from the county government. All in all, we want to advise parents to encourage their students to work hard in class. We will not tolerate a scenario where bright students become too comfortable and start underperforming especially after getting the county scholarship. You either work hard, be consistent in your performance or else you will lose that scholarship,” said Mr Mbarak.
The MCAs also warned parents against taking their children to very expensive private schools once they receive the county government scholarship, insisting that the money paid will be standardised.
“We have had scenarios where parents take their children to expensive private schools once they learn that their children have been absorbed by the county government. I want to make it clear that the county will only pay the standard school fees paid in public institutions. That means any extra costs will be the burden of the parent,” said Mr Mbarak.
County Assembly Majority Leader Abdalla Baabad, who is also the Kiunga MCA, called on parents and students to take advantage of the opportunity and ensure they fully benefit from it.
Mr Baabad also assured parents and students from marginalised communities including the Boni in Basuba and the pastoralist communities including the Sanye and Orma in Mkunumbi, Koreni, Kitumbini, Witu, Dide Waride and Chalaluma that they will be given the first priority in the region.
“We have set aside Sh127 million for bursaries and scholarships for students across the ten wards in Lamu. That means every ward will be getting more than Sh12 million. We will push to ensure students from the marginalised communities are given first priority. Parents have no reason to remain at home with their children due to lack of school fees,” said Mr Baabad.
Lamu County Assembly Education Committee Chairman Jonathan Mketta who is also the Witu MCA reiterated the need for residents to embrace education so as to acquire skills that will enable them get jobs at the upcoming Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor project upon its completion.
Mr Mketta said the county government is stretching its resources to ensure as many students as possible join secondary schools and tertiary institutions.