Equity Bank Foundation is set to partner with county governments to boost education scholarship to needy students and also improve infrastructure in schools.
The plan is aimed at increasing number of Wings To Fly beneficiaries especially in marginalized counties to boost education in the country.
Speaking in Kapenguria after paying a courtesy call to West Pokot Governor, CEO Equity Bank James Mwangi said the bank is also going to partner with other institutions to ensure that needy children in the country further their education.
“It’s sad to see many bright children forced to repeat so that they can be considered the following year,” he said.
In 2014, Mwangi said over 400 pupils we forced to repeat class eight but only 95 were absorbed into the program in 2015.
The CEO said the bank is going to collaborate with The County Government, Members of Parliament and individuals to ensure the numbers are increased to ensure needy children further their education.
“We want to come up with a strategy where county governments will sponsor twenty pupils, Members of Parliament five; under wings to fly program. This means in 2016 this county over 60 pupils will be sponsored up from 20,” he said.
Mwangi asked The Area Governor Simon Kachapin to sell the idea to other governors so that it is replicated in all forty seven counties in the country.
“If all counties adopt this method, education in our counties will be improved and help reduce illiteracy levels .We are targeting in phase two of this program to reach upto 30,000 beneficiaries in five years,” he said.
However, Former President of Botswana, Festus Gontebanye Mogae who accompanied the CEO asked all leaders in the country to work together and foster on economic development.
“If we work together as a team it will help us overcome many obstacles that are hindering us in achieving our goals,” he said.
Mogae also asked leaders especially in marginalized counties to bring their resources together and educate many children to help end retrogressive cultural practices.
West pokot Deputy Governor Titus Lotee who represented the governor said illiteracy levels in the county still stand at 50% and promised to adopt the idea to help improve literacy levels in the area;.
“This is a noble idea since it will see many pupils further their education and cases of insecurity will amicably reduce,” he said.
Lotee also thanked the bank for introducing the program since it has helped increase the number of pupils transiting from primary school to secondary schools.
“Initially transition rate from primary to secondary school in this county was poor, many pupils never attended secondary school education due to lack of school fees,” he said.
The CEO was also accompanied by the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Jendayi Elizabeth Frazer, MD Equity Foundation group, Hellen Gichoi, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation, Reeta Roy and Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto.
Frazer asked communities which are still practicing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to abandon the practice to ensure that girl child can access and further their education.
Mwangi also led the delegation to Alale village in North Pokot Sub-County to pay a visit to the family of one of 2015 Wings To Fly program beneficiary Vanessa Cheruto, a girl who was rescued from early forced marriage at the age of nine.