Walker Mwandoto @PeopleDailyKe
Lamu county has received Sh11 million from the Presidential Scholarship Fund launched by former President Mwai Kibaki in 2012 during the launch of construction works at Lamu Port.
The former Head of State had promised to ensure 1,000 youths from the country are sponsored and empowered through educational skills in port-related work.
The beneficiaries were promised jobs at the Lamu Port once it opens. The project also aims to ensure that the local community is actively involved in the larger Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor project.
Speaking in Lamu town, Lappset Director-General Silvester Kasuku said already, the money has been received for disbursement to institutions. “It will be used for tuition fees and upkeep of Lamu county students sponsored by the Lapsset project in various universities and colleges,” he said.
Interestingly, the Presidential Scholarship Fund comes after some leaders threatened to sabotage the Sh2.5 trillion Lapsset project. They are accusing the national government of failing to honour the initial agreement, which was to ensure that the residents are given jobs, and the local fishermen compensated for loss of their fishing zones.
In February, Lamu County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo said many students from the county had failed to report to schools due to lack of fees. Some students have even dropped out completely.
Launching Operation Rudisha Mtoto Shule at Lamu Huduma Centre earlier this year, Kitiyo said only 48 per cent of those set to join Form One had reported to school. He threatened to round up truant children and send them to schools and to arrest parents.
Meanwhile, the Lamu East MP Shariff Athumani says elected leader in the region should join hands to boost learning, which will propel the county’s growth and prosperity.
Athumani promised to work closely with stakeholders to improve education standards of the local communities. He called upon parents to embrace education saying, “educated children will in future uplift the living standards Lamu communities”.
However, he lamented that most of the school-going children were not in school due to parents’ laxity. “I am determined, with other stakeholders, to see that more pupils go to school and go to universities,” he said.
Athumani was speaking during a Prize-Giving Day for Faza Ward schools in his constituency. He said schools must get more learning materials apart from what the government was distributing.
Lamu County Education Executive in-charge of Education, Abdulkarim Aboud said that even in the Holy Quran, Muslims have been told to seek for education. “Parents must take their children to school to secure their future,” he said.