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43 pupils from Thika slums get Elimu scholarships.

43 pupils drawn from Thika informal settlements on Saturday benefited from Elimu Scholarship Programme that will see them through the four years of secondary schooling.

In a ceremony held at Thika High School, 23 girls and 20 boys from Kiandutu, Gachagi, Kiang’ombe and Umoja slums were inducted in preparation to joining secondary school.

Speaking during the occasion, Thika West Sub-County Director of Education Ronald Mbogo thanked the selection committee for conducting a very thorough exercise that ensured only the most genuine cases were considered.

“I am glad that the exercise was conducted beyond reproach and these are the most deserving cases that we came across during this exercise. However, there are other cases that have not been considered but are still deserving and there calls for other stakeholders to take over and assist them so as to ensure every child that sat for KCPE last year joins secondary school,” said Mbogo.

143 children had applied to be considered within Thika West Sub-County.

Mbogo hoped that in coming years, the programme would be expanded to cover all the sub-counties within the country to benefit more children.

“Educating these children is investing in our future. Otherwise, as a sub-county we will endeavour to ensure we achieve the 100% secondary transition. We do not want any of our children to miss out on this opportunity to mould their future,” he added.

Joseph Wambua from Gachagi slums moved the audience to tears as he narrated how his life has been since the death of his mother in the year 2014. He started living with his grandmother who took care of them and his younger sister.

Wambua, who was a pupil at Thika Barracks Primary School, scored 313 marks in the just concluded KCPE exams.

He narrated how their family was the laughing stock in the village due to poverty and none expected him to even do well in the exams.

When he was admitted to Masinga Boys High School, his hopes for joining secondary school was dimmed due to the amount of fees that was required.

“My grandmother could not raise the Sh. 180,000 annual fee to see me through secondary school. She promised to help me with the admission just to fulfill my dream to join high school but after that, I get out and seek employment. However, I am now glad that someone will see me through high school,” said Wambua.

He vowed to work hard and help his aging grandmother once he was through schooling.

Sarah Wanjiku Mbugua from Kiandutu Slum has a similar script though both of her parents are alive.
Her father was involved in a motorcycle accident, leaving him dependent on his wife (Wanjiku’s mother) who is jobless.

The fifth born in a family of 11 children had no hope of joining secondary school even after scoring 283 marks.

“Our relatives have been avoiding us as they consider us a bother. When this selected by the panelist, I thanked God since I knew that I was guaranteed of education,” she said.

She hopes to salvage their family from poverty once she completes education.

She encourages other children from poor background to trust in God and always work hard.

Elimu Scholarship Programme is an initiative funded by the Government of Kenya and the World Bank and spearheaded by Equity Bank to support children from poor background get through secondary education.

This year, 9000 pupils will benefit with the scholarship that will cater for their school fees, transport and learning materials for the four years of secondary education.

To qualify, a candidate must hail from a needy family background, must have scored 280 marks and above in KCPE and must have sat for their KCPE from a public primary school.

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