Treasury to blame for delayed Helb loans, says CS Amina Mohamed

Sunday December 9 2018

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

OUMA WANZALA
By OUMA WANZALA
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Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has blamed the National Treasury for delays in disbursement of loans to university and college students.

Ms Mohamed said Treasury's delay usually forces the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) to relook its budget, including mitigating the problem with prudent cash flow management.

Despite receiving applications from students joining higher learning institutions as early as August, many students usually get the loans mid-October or even much later.

Students report to colleges as early as August and many of the learners in public schools come from poor backgrounds and require financial assistance to meet their tuition fees and upkeep.

The slow release of the funds has prompted protests from students in recent years.

This year was no exception as students received their loans mid-October instead of September.

LOAN REPORT

Ms Mohamed, in a report on loan disbursement, also hit out at universities saying some delay in submitting information on the opening dates.

Other challenges Ms Mohamed identified in the report include: Closure of universities due to students strikes and industrial actions, delayed applications by students and inaccurate contacts that hamper communication with students.

Ms Mohamed also disclosed that for the last three financial years, a total of 630,397 students in the universities have benefited from the loans at Sh26 billion while 88,609 in TVET institutions have also benefited from Sh2.5billion.

In the financial year 2015/2016, 184,055 students in universities benefited from Sh7.5 billion loans, in 2016/2017, 214,568 students benefitted from Sh8.7billion while in 2017/2018, a total of 231,774 students received Sh9.7billion as loans.