Hon. Members of Mandera County Assembly,
Members of the County Executive Present,
Members of the Bursary Fund Board
Civil Society Members Present and, all other distinguished guests
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It gives me great pleasure to join you here today to officially launch the 2019/2020 Mandera County Education Bursary Program in the amount of Kenya Shillings One Hundred and Ten Million (Kshs.110,000,000.00) to support needy secondary and university student’s access education.
Financial exclusion from education is an issue across Mandera County with direct and associated education costs barring brilliant children from poor backgrounds from accessing education. While it is National government policy to provide free basic education and ensure 100 percent transition of all pupils from primary to secondary user costs remain a significant barrier to education access for children from low income families.
Our county still has high levels of poverty with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics putting Turkana, Mandera, Kakamega and Samburu among the counties with poorest populations. Many residents lack basic facilities like connectivity to electricity, piped water and paved roads due to decades of marginalization and vulnerability to climate change impacts of long dry spells and flash floods that follow the rains. But since the advent of devolution we continue to register good progress with impactful projects in water supply, improved health services, better food security, increased livestock production and better access to education among others. My Administration is committed to addressing the challenges faced by our needy students at the various educational institutions. Allow me to announce that the beneficiaries of the bursary kitty today were vetted by the Ward Bursary Committees and approved by the Mandera County Education Bursary Board.
Over the last five years, we have disbursed a total of Kenya Shillings Four Hundred and Forty Million (Kshs.440,000,000.00) and this is a continuous commitment from my administration to support the needy bright students from Mandera County.
Ladies and gentlemen, even as we make these efforts to allow our sons and daughters access education the function of basic education that is primary and secondary learning is the mandate of National Government and NOT the County Government.
While other Kenyans resumed learning after the Covid-19 break last week, in Mandera County we are faced with a crisis in the education sector. Learning is paralysed throughout the county because of Al-Shabaab terror menace. The Teachers Service Commission withdrew all non-local teachers. We have 57 public secondary schools and 295 public primary schools respectively. Due TSC’s withdrawal of teachers, the shortage of teachers in Mandera County stands at 1,849 for primary schools whereas in public secondary schools the shortage is 517.
The impact of our children failing to access education is tantamount to socio-economic sabotage. Al-Shabaab has succeeded in stopping learning in our region. We risk having a generation of people who never acquired education. This is simply not acceptable. We appeal to President Uhuru Kenyatta to help us ensure the National Government secures equal access to basic education for the people of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa Counties who are equally affected by Teacher’s Service Commission actions.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I wish to also take this opportunity to urge the school management across the county to make prudent use of the funds whilst adhering to the COVID-19 prevention guidelines and also closely work with Department of Public Health to offer guidance on COVID-19 and the respective prevention strategies.
In 2019, we launched the Girl Child Education Affirmative Action to send the top students to Turkey to study courses traditionally male dominated. I am happy to inform you that this is their second year of studies there are progressing well with their respective professional programs.
Going forward, as Kenyans and the community living in Mandera, we need to remain committed so as to effectively playing our individual and collective roles in order to turn around the education sector, which is facing lots of challenges. In this regard, security is paramount to uninterrupted learning and teaching programs, which we need to uphold, and safeguard at all times.
It is now my great pleasure to declare the 2019/2020 Mandera County Bursary Education Fund in the amount of Kenya Shillings One Hundred and Ten Million officially launched.
God Bless You and God Bless Mandera.
H.E. Governor’s Speech During Launch Of 2019/2020 Education Bursary Program
Hon. Members of Mandera County Assembly,