Azimio rebukes Ruto’s plans to abolish HELB arguing it will affect the continuing students being financed by the body.
President William Ruto has come under sharp criticism from leaders opposed to his plans to abolish HELB (Higher Education Loans Board).
Opiyo Wandayi, the minority leader in the National Assembly, has voiced concerns over Ruto’s proposal to abolish the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and replace it with a different body.
Wandayi questioned the decision in a statement, claiming it will have an impact on continuing students who are funded by the venerable body.
In his statement, he claimed that the forced study break would be longer than a semester and would result from the HELB’s dissolution.
“As you disband HELB, what happens to the poor university students who are due to report for their new semester this month?
“Do they also defer their studies for six months, which is historic?” Wandayi questioned.
On the other hand, Babu Owino warned Ruto against scaping HELB. He further reiterated Wandayi’s sentiments that students from poor backgrounds will be the most affected by the president’s plan.
“Ruto HELB wachana nayo Kabisa.Comrades are poor &ONLY Education will save them from the Yoke of poverty. For we live in an hour of change and challenge, a decade of hope&fear, in an age of both knowledge and ignorance. The greater our knowledge increases the greater our ignorance unfolds,” Babu Owino tweeted.
A section of Kenyans online also castigated the Head of State, arguing that abolishing HELB would affect funding for students from less fortunate families.
They asked the President to reform HELB in order to make it more accessible to Kenyans.
While speaking on Sunday, January 1, Ruto vowed to establish national skills and funding council to connect the two levels to provide a credit transfer framework and to support academic progression.
“The government will establish the NSFC that amalgamates HELB, TVET, and University Funding Board,” Ruto said while speaking in Mombasa.
The president explained that the move was aimed at bridging the current higher education funding gap of up to 45 percent.
Ruto said this plan will double the current HELB funding from Ksh11 billion to Ksh22 billion and even eliminate Helb loan interests.
“We know many universities are facing numerous challenges and significant debts as a result of the programme’s length,” he added.