Some 195 students from slums in Nakuru County are the initial beneficiaries of the inaugural Elimu scholarships jointly sponsored by the government and the World Bank.
The students are part of the first batch of 9,000 students who will benefit from the scholarships that the government has launched in its bid to ensure 100 per cent transition to secondary school.
On January 4, the learners completed a three-day mentorship programme at Nakuru Boys' High School organised by Equity Bank.
The bank has been selected by the government to offer logistics following its successful Wings to Fly scholarship programme.
The students from Kaptembwa, Kwa Rhonda, Manyani, Bondeni and Karagita slums, among other areas, are from needy backgrounds and scored good marks in the 2019 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination.
Speaking during the closing of the mentorship programme, Equity Bank Director of Operations Allan Waititu urged the beneficiaries to work hard and pass their secondary school examinations.
“You were chosen [from] among other needy students and the best way to show your appreciation is to study hard and pass your national examinations. It would be a sad day if you score poor grades with such a comprehensive scholarship [programme] from the government,” said Mr Waititu.
He also urged parents to monitor their children and give them moral support.
“Parents and guardians, please ensure the students keep off drugs and other bad behaviour since that role cannot be played by the government. Make sure you journey with the students from Form One to Form Four and ensure you are actively involved in their progress in the four years in secondary school,” he said.
He said testimonials by some of the beneficiaries on how they struggled to study under very difficult conditions was enough motivation to make them work hard.
“You will no longer be worried where your tuition and boarding fees, books and uniforms will come from and, therefore, you should now study hard and pass your national examinations and realise your dreams,” said Mr Waititu.