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Vihiga MCA's plan to shoot education fund bill down

13 January 2014, 22:43 Dareel Eric

Vihiga - Vihiga county assembly members are planning to shoot down in one accord a bill that aims at helping the needy students from the county to acquire higher education.

The bill has been worked on by Vihiga County government to establish a county loan for students who intend to join institutions of higher education and cannot qualify for the Higher Education Loans Board’s help.

The MCAs however view the bill as a duplicate of the HELB and that it will interfere with how HELB conducts its activities.

 A member for the Busali ward, Benedict Kwanuka said that they were planning to shoot down the bill when it is tabled in the county assembly.  

Responding to the claims, the county executive member in charge of education in Vihiga Elmanos Vodoti said that they had established the loan facility because of a gap in production of scholars that the county has due to abject poverty.

“Many of our people are disadvantaged when it comes to acquiring higher education because of lack of or inadequate funding. This is why the county has seen it as indispensable to establish some funding in form of a loan to students who intend to pursue higher education,” said Vodoti.

Vodoti said that the loan facility will be a compliment of the HELB and does not intend in any way to rival the central government’s loan scheme for needy students.

He said that initially the governor had slated some KES 100 million for the project but due to the budget deficit for the county, the funds have been reduced to KES 30 million for a start.

Vodoti asked the MCAs to be considerate of the many students who come from the county who are very bright and cannot access higher education because of their needy backgrounds before shooting down the bill.

“I beseech our MCAs to look at the educational standards in the county and help many of our children who perform very well but end up not joining institutions of higher education due to many financial constraints. We want to generate a hub of human resource through investing in education,” he said.   

Vodoti also noted that since the county has no proper structures to administer the funds yet, the Higher Education Loans Board had agreed to help them administer it and keep track of the students that will have been benefited from the funds.

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