Magoha expands JKF publisher to scholarship coordination centre
Education CS Prof George Magoha Friday said the ministry is working towards expanding the mandate of Jomo Kenyatta Foundation (JKF) to become a centre for coordinating the various scholarship programmes.
The move seeks to redeem scholarship management to have as many needy students benefit from these programmes.
Given the nature of its strategic positioning as the only government foundation providing basic education scholarships, the CS said the JKF capacity is in the process of being strengthened to enable it to undertake its new mandate.
“To strengthen the capacity of JKF, the Ministry has earmarked the Foundation for provision of technical assistance, to improve capacity as the government agency that regulates, manages and coordinates philanthropic organisations,” said Magoha.
Education Chief Administrative Officer (CAS), Mumina Bonaya delivered the remarks on behalf of Magoha during the award of JKF scholarships to 164 bright, but needy students, who sat for last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE).
Once actualised, Magoha said the new mandate would significantly help to streamline the mode of provision of scholarships in the country, a situation he seeks to have addressed once and for all.
“Towards this end, the Ministry of Education engaged a consultant to advise me on the areas that require capacity building at the Foundation to enable it undertake its new role. The report of the consultant is now complete and will be implemented in due course,” Magoha stated.
“I am sure that the Foundation would wish to give as many scholarships as practically possible, but this is not the case, owing to financial constraints, granted that the money as obtained from sale of books and other publications, has its limitations. The number of Form One applicants interviewed and qualified for the scholarship far much outweighs the number that was budgeted for by over 400 children,” the CS said.
At least 11,000 students have benefited from JKF scholarships.
Khadija Awale, the JKF Board Chairperson said about 648 needy students applied for scholarship but owing to financial constraints, only 164 were granted. The scholarships will cost the foundation Sh26 million for the entire academic year.
“We interviewed all the students and they qualified and JKF requires an additional Sh22 million to accommodate the 484 students left out,” said Awale.
She said there is need to focus on the urban slums which have bright but needy students.
To offer scholarships, JKF uses its internally generated resources mainly from the sale of textbooks. However, with liberalisation of the market, the number of publishers has increased and competition has been stiff.
“Let me assure you all the Ministry of Education will continue to support JKF within available means but all of us must cultivate a reading culture and buy JKF books for it to continue earning revenues from its publications. We also encourage donations towards the scholarship kitty,” said the CS.
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