Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has come in aid of students who faced challenges applying for scholarships and loans through the new university funding model.
Speaking before the National Assembly, Cs Machogu stated that the Ministry of Education is actively addressing the issue and expects a resolution in the upcoming days.
Machogu highlighted that students’ challenges were related to invalidated National Identification Cards and the Integrated Personnel Registration System (IPRS).
A section of students who had recently obtained new IDs and IPRS credentials experienced difficulties accessing the university fund portal, leading to their inability to access the funds.
To tackle the delays caused by these technical problems, Machogu revealed that he is collaborating with Kithure Kindiki, the Interior counterpart, to integrate the new IDs and IPRS numbers into the university system.
Machogu explained that students locked out of the system will soon be asked to reapply for funding opportunities, as the process to resolve the issue is expected to conclude within a week.
“The intervening processes are undergoing so as to ensure that the IPRS are reviewed to support and accommodate the Identity Card Number validation requests during this application period,” He stated.
Despite these efforts, students are still facing uncertainty due to the looming application deadline of September 7, which comes after the July 31 opening. Reports suggest that the Ministry of Education has not yet achieved the desired outcome.
The Education Cs disclosed that around 265,614 students are expected to apply for funding, with only 65,328 applications received thus far.
Machogu also pointed out that the current system’s Integrated Personnel Registration System can only validate the old National Identity Card Numbers of the applicants, parents, and guarantors.
“At times, the system experiences downtimes for several hours, thereby hindering the registration and application process,” Machogu acknowledged.
He further explained that to implement the new model, collaborative efforts were made between the Higher Education Loans Board, the Universities Fund, the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service, and the State Department for Technical, Vocational Education and Training.
The agencies worked together to create a centralized online portal for students in tertiary education to register and apply for scholarships, loans, and bursaries.