Editorials

Give students loans, IDs later

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Students at Helb offices in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Reports that some students joining tertiary institutions have missed out on funding by the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) due to delays in the issuance of national identity cards are regrettable.
  • Some of the affected students applied for the IDs more than four months ago and had hoped all would be smooth as they reported to the various institutions of higher learning starting this month.

Reports that some students joining tertiary institutions have missed out on funding by the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) due to delays in the issuance of national identity cards are regrettable.

Some of the affected students applied for the IDs more than four months ago and had hoped all would be smooth as they reported to the various institutions of higher learning starting this month.

Unfortunately, a breakdown of machines has affected the production of IDs and hundreds of needy students now face a bleak future because their loan applications cannot be honoured without the key documents.

The current economic conditions are tough and some of the students without alternative sources of funds may not join college.

The State, as the issuer of the IDs, should find an urgent solution to this mess to spare needy students the agony of missing out on higher education.

A stop-gap would be for the State to negotiate for special admission for the poor students into colleges as it fixes the production of their IDs for use in the loan applications.

The State should nonetheless focus on finding reliable machines for ID production.

Cases of the breakdown of the ID production machine have become common and a solution should be found.