Recently, KCB Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE). Through the partnership, more bright students living with disabilities from needy homes across the country will be enabled to access quality education through the KCB Foundation’s scholarship program.
The program, which awards 240 scholarships every year to students who have completed their Kenya Certificate of Primary Examinations (KCPE), has been designed to also award students living with disabilities into the program.
Out of 240 slots, 40 are reserved for students living with disabilities, ensuring that quality education is made available to students who would have been otherwise marginalized. So far, at least 1300 students have benefited from this programme since 2015.
KCB Foundation Executive Director, Jane Mwangi sheds more light on the programme’s achievements to date.
Q: What inspired KCB Foundation to venture into the education sector?
A: The Foundation recognises that while many initiatives, such as the Constituency Development Fund bursaries have provided students with financial assistance, the burden of secondary school fees and associated expenses such as uniform, boarding and other learning materials still prevents many students from furthering their education.
Through our secondary school scholarships program, KCB Foundation contributes to improving access to quality education for needy students through the provision of scholarships, learning materials and improved public school infrastructure.
Q: What does the sponsorship package include?
A: The KCB Foundation scholarship package entails payment of school fees for the 4 years of secondary school, support for personal effects and learning materials. For students with disability, we also provide assistive devices such as hearing aids, wheelchairs, crutches etc.
In addition, we hold quarterly one-on-one mentorship sessions with KCB branch staff and an annual holiday mentorship program. During and after the students’ university studies, we offer internship and employment opportunities to prepare them for the work environment.
Q: How does the scholarship program work?
A: The scholarship program awards 240 scholarships every year to accomplished but underprivileged students from every county, who have completed the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). Out of these, 40 slots are reserved for students living with disabilities. The programme is designed to ensure there is equitable distribution across the counties as well as gender balance, to ensure both boys and girls benefit from the program.
Since 2015, the Foundation has supported 120 students living with disabilities. Each of the students in the KCB scholarship program has been assigned a mentor who walks with him/ her throughout the four years of secondary school education. The mentor provides the invaluable guidance that grooms the next generation of driven, confident and responsible leaders.
Q: How does one qualify for a KCB Scholarship?
A: To qualify for a scholarship, students must meet the cut-off mark set for each county, come from a needy background and have qualified for admission to either a public national or county secondary school. Only applicants from public primary schools are eligible for the scholarships. The application forms are available from any of our branches countrywide and our website.
Q: The KCB Scholarship program places special emphasis on the inclusion of students with disabilities in the program. How does the Foundation plan on continuing this inclusivity conversation?
A: KCB Foundation recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE). In the agreement, the Foundation will identify and assist in the enrolment into secondary education of students with disability across the country. On its part, KISE will work to provide guidelines for identification and enrolment of the students into secondary schools. Additionally, the Foundation will pay school fees as well as provide and facilitate the required amenities to the scholarship beneficiaries, throughout the four years of high school.
In this partnership, KCB Foundation will assign the scholarship beneficiaries to suitable mentors who will track the progress and respond to the special needs of these gifted students overcoming disability every single day. On their part, KISE will train and certify KCB Foundation staff on Kenya Sign Language, in addition to developing the special mentorship guidelines that will be applied by the mentors of the students.