Nairobi goes hi-tech in bursary transfer


Nairobi governor Mike Sonko. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Nairobi County government will use Electronic Fund Transfer to disburse bursaries to avoid the awards getting into wrong hands.

County Education executive Janet Ouko said the county will not issue bursary cheques but will instead wire the money directly to the accounts of the schools the students have been admitted.

She said adoption of technology is the only way to address the problems experienced in the past where funds meant for needy students went into the wrong hands.

“We have learnt from our experiences of last year and this time round we will not be dealing with cheques. We are going to be doing electronic fund transfer,” said Ms Ouko on Wednesday.

The county executive said the process will require needy students to provide the accounts of the beneficiary institutions. This, she said, will aid the process of disbursement of the funds.

“They will provide the account numbers in the forms and then the money will be sent directly to the beneficiary institutions. This will minimise a lot of challenges we had including errors on the cheques,” she said.

In September, two Nairobi ward representatives were accused of colluding with rogue county employees to steal bursary funds through a proxy firm and personal bank accounts.

They were also alleged to have dished out bursaries to their relatives, friends and close associates, some of whom are not even residents of Nairobi.

There were also allegations that some of the ward representatives were operating a fictitious company, without a physical office, which had also received huge sums from the Lang’ata Constituency Development Fund.

At the same time, Ms Ouko said the county is spending Sh297 million as ward bursary fund with each of the 85 wards in the county getting Sh3.5 million for bright, needy students.

“The bursaries are supposed to cover those joining secondary schools, those joining technical schools and those pursuing other skills. We are spending Sh3.5 million for each of the 85 wards in the county totalling Sh297 million,” the executive said.

“We are committed to make sure that by January we will have released the funds.”

She revealed that there is the executive bursary scheme run by Governor Mike Sonko that targets top three students in every public primary school in the county.

“In this scholarship programme, the governor gives full scholarship fees to over 1,000 children from Nairobi. This we will release on Friday,” said Ms Ouko.

“He will give the funds to top students as he had promised. Last year we enrolled about 1,020 students and this year we will also pick another lot.”