Broken Promises: The Plight Of Students Sponsored By The Nairobi County Government

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Many needy students from poor backgrounds rely on donations, bursaries or help from the government to go through their secondary and or university education. For most of them, the availability or lack thereof of funds and help from well-wishers determines their fate

In this article, WoK reviews some complaints lodged by parents and guardians of students against the County Government of Nairobi, regarding the case of education sponsorships. Many have decried failure on the County Government’s part to fulfil their promise to fund their children’s secondary school education.

We spoke to a parent of a student in Upperhill School currently in Form Three about the issue. Rachael Akumu is seeking help for her son who has been in and out of school since form one due to lack of school fees.

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His school terms have been constantly dotted with frequent absenteeism, with the school stating that they are not able to accommodate students who have not cleared their school fees.

The County Government has been writing letters to schools with the assurity that the fees will be paid, something that rarely happens. Schools are then put in a tough position, having to provide learning and accommodation to many students whose fees are yet to be paid.

In a letter handed to Rachel dated 8th June, 2022 addressed to The Principal Upperhill High School, the County Government of Nairobi said,

“The above named student was granted a chance in your school to pursue high school education.

The child comes from a needy background and the family is unable to pay fees. The County Government of Nairobi through the Governor’s Executive Bursary Fund has enrolled the child for the 4 years’ Scholarship to cater for the school fees ONLY as per the Ministry of Education Guidelines.”

However, Akumu claims that the County Government only paid for her son’s school fees once since he joined high school. Since then, the school fees has accumulated to Ksh. 72, 250. She now lives in constant worry and anxiety about her son’s education, adding that she lives every day expecting to see her son back home due to fees arrears.

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For students like Akumu’s son, their education and future solely lies on the County Government. If the fee is not paid, they risk dropping out of school.

Unfortunately, Akumu is not the only one in this predicament. According to her, many other parents face a similar problem, with their visits to the County Government offices proving futile. Whenever they visit the offices they are always sent back with written letters to take to their children’s schools. The school later sends them back home, maintaining that they cannot accommodate students with such huge fees balances.

With the high cost of living and family needs, Akumu is now calling upon well-wishers and the county government to assist her in educating her son. She insists that the burden us huge to bear, especially for parents who have other children in school.

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