Government foundation to regulate all scholarships, official reveals
The Ministry of Education revealed yesterday that the process of making the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation (JKF) the regulator for scholarship programmes in the country is on course.
Education Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Sarah Ruto yesterday said expanding the mandate of JKF to become a centre for coordinating various scholarship programmes is a conversation that should conclude soon.
She said JKF is strategically positioned to regulate the scholarships because it is the only government foundation providing basic education scholarships.
Ruto (pictured) said this would not only remove duplication of roles but also ensure the scholarships benefit the most deserving cases. “This is a discussion that started four years ago and so the need is there and it is a good opportunity as JKF diversifies what it does. With 56 years of experience, we know that there is something that they can offer. It is a conversation that should have happened yesterday.”
She made the remarks in Nairobi when she presided over the presentation of JKF scholarships worth Sh22.2 million to 144 beneficiaries.
JKF Managing Director David Mwaniki said the proposal to give the publisher an added mandate could not have come at a better time. “We urge the Ministry to fast track the proposal to streamline the scholarship programme. We are ready for this new challenge,” he said.
He observed that the economic pressures in the last two years owing to Covid-19 had pushed more people to apply for scholarships, saying this year alone, some 11,000 needy learners applied.
Understandably, economic pressure is not confined to JKF if the number of applications received for the current intake is anything to go by. Compared to the previous years the number went up four fold upward of 11,000 applications across the country,” Mwaniki said.
He said that the pandemic has had a negative impact on the profit margins for publishers, notwithstanding the large volumes that are involved.
With tenders to publish Competency-Based Curriculum, Mwaniki, he said publishers have no choice but to price the books at a fairly moderate mark up, which ultimately affects profits.