Education is key in fighting poverty, as underlined by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The United Nations notes that education is critical to escape chronic poverty and to prevent the transmission of poverty between generations.
Education is a fundamental part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big 4 Agenda in Kenya. The Head of State has constantly challenged relevant ministries to place robust mechanisms for securing Kenyan youth’s scientific ideas, projects, and innovations.
The Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC) was also launched to enable students to keep up with the fast-changing world characterized by remarkable advances in science and technology.
For tertiary education, the government funds public institutions that offer students opportunities. TVETs were also incorporated into the education sector to provide relevant and adequate skills to learners.
Nonetheless, several candidates in Kenya miss out on proceeding to secondary and tertiary levels owing to the inability to raise school fees and other emoluments. Some foundations fill the gaps by offering scholarships to needy students.
Some of the foundations have an array of standards that the child has to meet to be fully or partially sponsored.
Kengen, a state-owned enterprise, offers annual academic sponsorship for primary and secondary graduates who have academically excelled but come from low-income, rural, or marginalized areas.
The foundation sponsors an average of 40 bright students annually. The scope of the number of students they can sponsor has been expanded through the Kengen Alumni group.
Strathmore University Foundation
Strathmore University, a private university, has a wider array of schemes that sponsor secondary and tertiary students who have excelled in different areas.
The merits cut across academic excellence, special sponsorship for final year high school students who wish to pursue specific courses in accounting, information, and technology, special sponsorships for students who emerge top in Mathematics contests, high school students who have excelled in sports, bursaries for needy and outstanding academic ability.
The scope of the bursaries can be increased based on the criteria of the sponsors who are within the school.
Equity Group Foundation
Equity Group Foundation, the social arm of Equity Group Holding, provides financial and mentorship services to bright primary and secondary students across the country.
The classification of financially needy students according to the foundation, cuts across children from poor households, victims of civil conflicts, children of parents with severe ailments or disabilities.
Applicants are vetted and verified by local community leaders and equity bank staff through interviews and home visitations.
The foundation partners with the Equity Leaders Program that provides internship opportunities to high school students who are academically gifted.
USIU Africa foundation
United States International University, a private university, offers partial and fully academic sponsorships for high school graduates based on specific merits.
Students who are top in their county and children of civil servants who are academically exceptional are eligible for partial academic sponsorship.
Persons living with disabilities (PWDs) and candidates from underrepresented communities in the Arid and Semi-Arid Regions of Kenya (ASAL) qualify for full sponsorships.
Recipients of full academic sponsorships must be financially needy and show exceptional academic and leadership abilities. It should be noted that the fully sponsored students only cater for the Student Affairs Council and Medical fees.
Jomo Kenyatta Foundation.
The Jomo Kenyatta Foundation has dedicated itself to offering Orphans and Vulnerable Students (OVS) scholarships. The foundations mostly absorb children from public primary and secondary schools.
One must attain 70 percent of the maximum marks or meet the standards set by the board of directors, especially for PWDs and persons for marginalized areas.
Forms for application can be downloaded on the websites of the aforementioned foundations.
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