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Educationists appeal to MPs not to use NG-CDF to pay bursaries for PHD students

Dr. Vincent Gaitho,MKU Council Chairman

A panel of education experts has castigated the misuse of the National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) by some politicians who issue bursaries to PHD and Masters students studying in local and foreign universities.

They say that the fund should instead be used to build infrastructure for basic education and development projects geared towards creating employment in the constituencies.

“It’s unfair for someone studying for a Master’s degree to get CDF funding; it’s immoral,’’ said Maliba Arnold Nyajayi, the Strategic Communication Advisor.

According to Dr. Vincent Gaitho, Kenya's National Association of Private Universities Secretary General, CDF is important to very many students across the country.

“Poverty in Kenya is on the rise due to global climate change, which is marginalising more families and the depreciation of Kenya shilling. Any money for education sector is welcome. Thousands of students benefit from CDF bursaries” he said.

Dr. Gaitho noted, the issuance of bursaries from the CDF kitty was being used by MPs to boost their popularity in the constituencies.

“It’s a popularity contest between MPs where thousands of people are invited to the various forums where the cheques are issued,” he said.

Dr Gaitho, who is also the chairman of the university council at Mount Kenya University (MKU), called on MPs to focus on investing CDF in specific development projects in their local areas.

“Each constituency is unique. Area MPs should have projects that will put money in the pockets if their constituents. For instance, our farmers have too much waste after every harvest - milk, maize, vegetables. The mangoes season is coming and local markets will soon be flooded with mangoes. We need to reduce this waste,” he said.

Dr. Gaitho recommended that a bill be introduced in Parliament to authorise bursary funds to become revolving funds.

“Those who benefit from bursaries should pay back. Let’s make it sustainable through a revolving fund since we are developing human capital that eventually should become useful to the country,” he added.

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