Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) through its CEO Mr Ringera yesterday proposed that all bursary programmes being offered by various bodies in the country be coordinated and converted into a revolving fund to benefit many students.
“The essence of bursaries is to empower the needy students get access to education. But once they do that and get jobs, they should repay that money so that many other students can benefit,” CEO Mr Ringera said while speaking to Mount Kenya University Chairman Mr Simon Gicharu.
The chief of the financier board said that many students drop out of school due to lack of funds and that the available funds should thus be divided equally among all the students to enhance their education.
“The issue is access to education, and thousands more need to access education. So once those who get bursaries complete studies, they should be asked to repay the money so that others can also access education,” said Ringera adding that the whole point was to make the funds revolve across the year.
Mr. Ringera also asked the various institutions to give the Board the mandate of administering and controlling their scholarship funds. “Once you mandate us to administer the scholarships, we shall use the best criteria and also enable the beneficiaries pay back to make it a revolving fund that benefits many more students,” he said.
The HELB boss was skeptical especially of those students who recived scholarship funds from multiple sources leaving other students with lack of opportunity for the same. “One gets CDF bursary, gets Helb and also gets a scholarship from a bank. With coordination, these institutions can only give what is adequate,” he lamented.
Mount Kenya University (MKU) anounced that it had set aside 40 million shillings as scholarship funds to be issued to students this academic year. The funds will be the first one to be controlled and administered by HELB. “From us, be assured that we are ready to make you manage our scholarship fund based on criteria we shall give,” Mr. Gicharu told the CEO Mr Ringera.