Counties and constituencies merge with HELB to fund education

About 20 Counties and ten constituencies have entered into an agreement with the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to have the board manage their county education fund kitty.

Through the agreement, the Counties will provide funds to HELB and a list of beneficiaries; the board will manage the funds as well as help the county recover the funds after the students have completed school.

The HELB CEO, Charles Ringera said the move by the Counties has helped ease the board’s burden to finance education to over 209,000 students pursuing higher education in the country.

Speaking during a consultative meeting between the Ministry of Education, County Assembly and HELB officials in Embu town on Tuesday, Ringera said the board is now able to increase the number of beneficiaries in the other 27 counties.

“If all counties can get into such an agreement, education can be affordable to all”, he said, adding that they are now able to cover many needy students”, noting that allocation for the funds has been centralized to prevent double allocation.

Among the counties that have entered into the agreement with HELB are Kakamega, Busia, Nakuru, Kericho, Nairobi, Embu and Kisumu among others.

Ringera at the same time took issue with the high number of HELB education loan defaulters which he said stood at 70,000, noting that the board has put in stringent measures to track them down.

Embu County CEC member for Education,, Jamleck Muturi said Shs. 118 million has been allocated to students at institutions of higher learning; with 18 percent of the kitty benefiting university students while 70 percent will benefit diploma students.The remainder has been allocated to those in technical institutions.

By Muoki Charles