Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha, says 9,000 Form One Students to benefit from Elimu Scholarship Programme in 2020.
The Ministry of Education has opened applications for the inaugural 2020 Elimu Scholarship Programme targeting 9,000 beneficiaries.
Eligible 2019 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) Examination candidates have until December 16, 2019 to apply for the scholarships that are funded by the Ministry of Education with support from the World Bank. They will be implemented through the Equity Group Foundation.
The Elimu Scholarship Programme, funded through the Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project (SEQIP), will benefit candidates from 110 targeted Sub-Counties and fifteen urban centres with informal settlements.
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Announcing the start of the Elimu Scholarship, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha said the programme will boost the Government’s 100 per cent transition policy that was introduced last year.
“We are determined to utilize the Sh3 billion scholarship programme to further ensure that all the needy and vulnerable 2019 KCPE candidates are supported to gain admission to schools of their choice,” Prof Magoha said.
Equity Group Foundation Executive Chairman Dr. James Mwangi said the Foundation will ensure the selection is thorough and based on merit.
“Equity will deploy its massive infrastructure and its technical capacity to successfully implement the Elimu scholarship programme on behalf of the Ministry of Education in the selection of 18,000 needy beneficiaries of the Elimu Scholarship Programme over the next two years,” he said.
This year, Dr. Mwangi said 9,000 Elimu Scholarship Programme beneficiaries will be selected while 1,125 beneficiaries will be picked under the Wings to Fly Programme, bringing the total number of scholarships to 10,125 this year.
“We welcome the Elimu Scholarship Programme as it widens the opportunities for more children to access secondary school education and increase their opportunities of a better future for themselves, their families and communities. We have seen the tremendous transformational opportunities that the Wings to Fly program has had on the beneficiaries with majority transitioning to universities locally and across the world including Ivy League schools.”
Under the programme, poor and vulnerable children from financially constrained backgrounds and who attained 280 marks and above in 2019 KCPE, will be considered. For affirmative action, candidates who are Orphans and/or from Vulnerable Communities and those with special needs and disabilities who attained below 280 marks may be considered.
Only candidates who sat for KCPE examinations in 2019 from public primary schools in the targeted areas will be eligible to apply for the inaugural cohort of 9,000 scholarships tenable in 2020.
The 110 targeted Sub-Counties are as per the National Government Administrative areas that existed in the year 2015. The list of the targeted Sub-counties and the fifteen urban centres with informal settlements can be accessed through the Ministry of Education and Equity Group Foundation websites; www.education.go.ke and https://egfdmis.equitybank.co.ke/register_elimu
Applicants of the Elimu Scholarship Programme must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Candidates with special needs and disabilities (Physical, Hearing and Visual Impairments, Autism, Albinism, Learning Disabilities and Others); or
Orphans and vulnerable children; or
Candidates from vulnerable communities in the target Sub-Counties; or
Candidates from urban centres with informal settlements; or
- whose parents/guardians are living with disabilities that have compromised their ability to meet the financial obligations of their children
- whose families are affected by HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses with debilitating effects that could render parents and guardians destitute and unable to fend for their families
- whose families are affected by extreme poverty rendering them unable to educate their children
- Who have suffered from neglect, abuse and have no support to continue with their education.
Interested applicants are advised to collect the scholarship application forms from the nearest Equity Bank Branch or Equity Bank Agent. Application forms can also be downloaded from the Ministry of Education and Equity Group Foundation websites; www.education.go.ke and https://egfdmis.equitybank.co.ke/register_elimu
Duly completed application forms and supporting documents should be submitted to the nearest Equity Bank Branch by 16th December 2019. Shortlisted candidates accompanied by parents/guardians will be invited for interviews which will be conducted by the Community Scholarship Advisory Committees.
The scholarship caters for School fees, transport to and from school, learning materials and School kit for the beneficiaries for the four-year education period. Please note that ONLY the candidates who meet the requirements will be considered for the scholarship. Members of the public are urged to share this information widely.
While the Wings to Fly programme is targeting students who scored at least 350 marks in the 2019 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), the Elimu Scholarship Programme cut off mark is 280 marks except in regions with vulnerable and marginalised communities and for children with disabilities where the cut off can be lowered.
The applications will be reviewed, and only shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews by the respective scholarship selection boards. The number of boards has been increased to 207 from 119 to adequately cater for the increased numbers.
The boards comprise of at least 13 local community stakeholders including local administrative leaders, education officials, Equity Agent representatives, Vulnerable and marginalized communities representatives, religious and community leaders in the County.
Each board is chaired by the Deputy County Commissioner or the Sub-County Education Officer and coordinated by the respective Equity Bank Branch Managers.
Speaking on the application process, Dr. Mwangi urged administrative leaders and community leaders to use their offices to create awareness on the scholarships to ensure all eligible needy children take advantage of the opportunity. “I appeal to religious leaders to use church and mosque services to make announcements on the ongoing application process. Let all Kenyans of goodwill show their care by reaching out to potential candidates who can benefit from these scholarships,” he added.
The Wings to Fly programme which is now in its 11thyear supports bright but economically challenged pupils, who would otherwise not be able to join secondary school due to financial constraints. This is through funding from Equity Group, MasterCard Foundation and German Government through KfW.
The scholarship caters for tuition and boarding fees, books, uniform, and transport to and from school as well as pocket money for the four years of secondary school. To date, 16,168 scholars have benefitted from this programme.
Last year, the Equity Group Foundation received more than 26,000 applications from needy students who sat for their 2018 KCPE examinations and were unable to finance their secondary school educatio
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow
Drastic life changes affecting mental health
Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.
Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.
Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.
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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.
In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020. It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.
A study by Dr. Habil Otanga, a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.
KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.
Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.
As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.
“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”
Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.
“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.
Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.
“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”
Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.
“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.
Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.
Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.
She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.
Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.
“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added
Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.
“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and also engage in reading that would help expand their knowledge.