Irene Githinji @gitshee
Education Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed has asked all universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet) institutions to implement the smart card directive.
She said the move is geared towards effectively and efficiently managing funds from the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb), adding that 110,447 cards have been issued by seven prequalified banks and that 95,525 cards are active for use.
Speaking yesterday when she launched a modern contact centre at Helb offices in Nairobi, Amina said the government has resolved to enhance financing of more than 150,000 Tvet trainees at an estimated cost of Sh10.5 billion.
“I encourage secondary school graduates to seek admission in Tvet institutions approved by the Education ministry and apply for Helb Tvet loans before October 31,” she said.
Considering that Helb’s clients comprise youths studying, working and living in various parts of the country and abroad, the CS said the ministry is conscious of the need to leverage on technology to make services more convenient.
She said Helb has deployed Cisco Unified Communication contact centre and Microsoft CRM Dynamics 365 systems, which will enable it to offer better customer experience in line with their new strategic plan dubbed HELB Agenda 2019-23 premised on customer centred leadership.
In addition to the existing contact avenues, Helb now has a USSD code *642# to encourage self-service. “The launch is synchronised with the 2018 Annual National Customer Service Week under the theme ‘sustaining customer experience excellence’,” she said.