As part of the education sector reforms, the Ministry of Education has expressed special interests in expanding educational opportunities for marginalized populations, particularly those in Coast, Eastern, North Eastern provinces and urban slums in Nairobi. North Eastern, Eastern and Coast provinces have the highest percentage of the minority Muslims who have been historically marginalized in the past. In the North Eastern Province pastoral communities lack access to culturally appropriate schooling, and the populations in North Eastern, Eastern and Coast provinces also have less experience with the formal education system altogether.
Scarce water resources contribute to lower incomes, and as a result limit the ability of the parents and communities to fund their children’s education. It is as a result of this marginalization that USAID has decided to provide 18 higher education scholarships to these communities to the extent of USD $400,000 from the Africa Regional Account to provide four -year university scholarships with the aim of increasing the numbers of those transiting from basic education to higher education and also to train a pool of leaders who would act as role models for the younger generation and take the lead in addressing challenges of the marginalised communities within Kenya. These marginalised areas account for a minority percentage of students enrolled in universities.
The scholarship will cover tuition fees, registration fees, basic stationery, textbooks, boarding cost, examination and research fees where applicable, cost of practicum and other miscellaneous costs such as transport, medical fee activity and stipend for the academic years 2008/2009 – 2012/2013. The scholarship beneficiaries will be selected by the joint management committee with representatives from USAID, SUPKEM, Higher Education Loans Board and Ministry of Education.
The areas of marginalization from where the beneficiaries will be selected are as follows:
North Eastern Garissa, Ijara, Wajir, Mandera
Coast Lamu, Kwale, Tana River, Kilifi, Mombasa
Eastern Isiolo, Marsabit, Moyale
The beneficiaries must come from a marginalized background as indicated in their high school records, certified letters from the chief or assistant chief on their family backgrounds and be unable to pay for university education completely.
- The beneficiaries must have a minimum Kenya’s university entry requirement of C+ and above or equivalent qualifications
- The beneficiaries must have an admission letter to an accredited public university in Kenya
- The study period must be a maximum of four years
- The beneficiaries will be required to provide community service upon graduation for a period of six months which will be part of the scholarship acceptance package
- The beneficiaries must be willing to produce all the relevant academic certificates and testimonials
- The beneficiaries will be required to provide a list of all organizations they belong to.
- The beneficiaries will have to declare any other scholarship or bursary they are receiving
The scholarship will be advertised in the local dailies requesting for applications from eligible and qualified candidates who will collect the application forms from the District Education Offices in the targeted districts. Once all the completed application forms have been received at the offices of the Higher Educations Loan Board on the closing date, the Joint Management Board will meet for the selection process. The Joint Management Committee is made up of two representatives from the USAID/Kenya office of education, one representative from the USAID program office, three representatives from SUPKEM, one representative from Ministry of Education (Directorate of Higher Education) and one representative from Higher Educations Loan Board. The Joint Management Committee will come up with the list of the beneficiaries.
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