KCB Bank has sponsored five needy students, four girls and one boy, from Mandera County to pursue their secondary school education.
The five, who topped in the county in the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams will join national schools in the country.
According to Mandera Branch KCB Manager Abdirashid Yunis, the students received cheques for the whole term.
“We have presented five students with fully paid school fees for the first term for different schools including Alliance, Pangani Girls and Kericho,” Mr Yunis said.
The bank also bought enough learning materials for the five students including school uniforms, books, sanitary pads and other requirements.
The bank will also pay for their transport to school and back home.
“We received a total of 17 applications for the sponsorship but only five qualified after our scrutiny of the eligibility,” he said.
For a student to be picked by KCB, he or she must have scored above 370 marks in the KCPE exam.
“Apart from scoring above 370 marks, we do a family background check and get convinced that indeed, the student is needy and from a poor family,” the KCB manager said.
Mr Yunis warned that the sponsorship can be withdrawn if a student starts recording poor performance in school.
“The only way the student enjoys the sponsorship for a period of four years is by maintaining a good performance record,” he said.
He cited cases of indiscipline as another vice that can lead to automatic withdrawal of the sponsorship.
The bank only pays fees per term and not for the whole academic year to avoid losses occasioned by student transfers to other schools.
“We decided to be paying fees per term to avoid inconveniencing students who want to transfer from one school to another,” Mr Yunis clarified.
Girl child education
On why more girls were picked than boys, Mr Yunis said the bank is keen on promoting girl child education.
“We have more girls because the local society puts little emphasis on them when it comes to matters of education and as a bank, we felt this is the only opportunity where the girls can be supported to achieve the academic dream,” he said.
Ms Halima Ali, a resident, applauded the sponsorship, further appealing for other organisations and companies to chip in and support education in Mandera.
“I am happy for what KCB has done but we have more children who need to be supported for them to achieve their academic dreams,” she said.
She cited the high poverty index in the border county as the major setback in academic performance.
“Most parents are poor, making it difficult for them to send their children to better schools outside Mandera,” she said.