Equity Group Foundation on Monday granted scholarships to 1,700 students as they join various secondary schools across the country to further their education.
The bank’s Wings to Fly Programme, which has so far benefited 14,368 students, will see the eighth group of 1,700 students this year get full sponsorship for the four years of study in high school.
The 2017 Wings to Fly class is funded by The MasterCard Foundation with support from KfW and Equity Bank.
Education secretary Fred Matiangi hailed the programme for supplementing the government’s goal of providing education for all.
“The Wings To Fly programme has transformed many lives since its inception and as a government we recognise the complementary role this program has played to support us to educate needy and bright students. As a result, we will be looking at ways of strengthening our partnership under the new policy framework,” said Dr Matiangi.
Equity Group Foundation executive chairman James Mwangi noted that many needy students require financial support to realise their dreams.
“This year alone, we received over 25,000 applications from students who are unable to afford secondary school, but were only able to award 1,700 scholarships. Although we strive to offer opportunities to the most deserving cases, we still feel that there is need for more collaboration between various stakeholders to achieve the dream of universal quality education in the country,” said Mr Mwangi.
The initiative by Equity Group Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation with additional financial support by other Wings to Fly partners offers comprehensive secondary school scholarships to academically gifted children from needy backgrounds which covers tuition fees, books, school uniform, accommodation, pocket money, transport costs among other expenses.
Dr Matiang’i also launched the 2017 Equity Bank Paid Pre-University Internship Program for the 2016 Wings to Fly graduates who scored an A and A- (minus).
The Equity Bank Paid pre-university internship program enables the scholars to pay for their University Education while undergoing leadership, coaching and mentoring. This year 569 Scholars will join the Program.
They comprise 286 scholars from the Wings to Fly program and 150 top boy and girl from each district in Kenya where Equity has a branch, who attained a minimum score of A-.
Equity Bank also extended an opportunity to all the 141 students who scored an A plain in the KCSE exams in 2016 nationally (of which 8 are Wings to Fly scholars) to join the program.