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Economy

Helb rolls out new scholarships plan for counties

The Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) has started a programme that will involve counties in financing university education for needy students.

Under the programme county governors will budget for scholarships for needy students from their area to be administered by Helb.

The higher education financier has started off with a partnership with Meru County, which will be replicated in the other 46 counties.

“The unique collaboration with Meru County brings together two national organs with a desire for actualising Kenya’s development agenda of Vision 2030 by fundamentally up-scaling the human capital base of the county,” says Helb in a statement.

An undisclosed number of students are set to benefit from the Meru County Education Fund. However, governor Peter Munya has yet to decide the amount of money to be put in the fund.

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Beneficiaries of the revolving fund to be set up by each county will be expected to pay back the loans at an interest rate of four per cent. There will be a grace period of one year after the completion of the course.

Helb is looking to liaise with county education oversight committees in selecting students to benefit from the funds.

Like in its other loans, Helb will review applications and select beneficiaries on the need basis before forwarding its list to the oversight committees for scrutiny.

The agency will also furnish the counties with financial reports on quarterly basis out of the need of ensuring transparency in management of funds.

The law provides for Helb to enter deals with other entities both inside and outside Kenya when deemed necessary.

Helb has stepped up its search for alternative sources of funds to prop up its operations that in the past have been heavily dependent on government funds.

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