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Strengthen Commonwealth scholarships plan – CS Amina

Thursday February 22 2018

Education CS Amina Mohamed

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed. She has called for the strengthening of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

OUMA WANZALA
By OUMA WANZALA
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Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has called for the strengthening of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan.

Ms Mohamed also called for the increase in the number of scholarships as well as diversification of areas of study with particular emphasis on the sciences and technology.

“Scholarships have contributed positively to development in Commonwealth nations through capacity building in many critical areas,” said the CS during the 20th Conference of Commonwealth education ministers in Fiji.

She went on: “We believe the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan can be more impactful if it can be scaled up including encouraging growth through South-South partnerships.”

MEET OBLIGATIONS

She said Kenya supports the established Commonwealth Scholarship Endowment Fund and appealed to Commonwealth member countries to meet their obligations by making timely payments to support the Fund.

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“Kenya supports the established Endowment Fund. Kenya was the first country in Africa to make its contribution to the Fund and we continue to be passionate and committed to it,” said Ms Mohamed.

In a separate meeting with Nick Gibb, Minister of State for Schools Standards, Department for Education, the CS appealed to the UK to increase scholarships for Kenyan students under both the Commonwealth and Chevening programmes.

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

The Cabinet Secretary further urged the UK to consider reviewing language proficiency requirements for Kenyan students saying English is the medium of instruction in Kenyan schools.

She also called for strong partnerships with the UK especially in support of digital learning, curriculum review and development as well as increasing school infrastructure in Kenya.

Kenya has been a beneficiary of Commonwealth scholarships including an average of 52 consistent scholarships from India, 2 from New Zealand and 12 from Pakistan.

Presently, there are 29 Commonwealth scholarships tenable in the United Kingdom for 2017/2018 against an annual average of 10.

Kenya will host the next Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers which will take place in 2021.

The 20th CCEM in Nadi has convened under the overarching theme, 'Sustainability and resilience: Can education deliver?’