Strengthen Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, CS Amina urges Commonwealth

Nadi, Fiji, 22nd February, 2018 (MOE) – Education Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed has called for the strengthening of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan.

At the same time, the CS called for the increase in the number of scholarships as well as diversification of areas of study with particular emphasis on the sciences and technology.

Speaking in Nadi, Fiji, during the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers, Amb. Amina said scholarships have contributed positively to development in Commonwealth nations through capacity building in many critical areas.

“The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan has made its mark not just on individual beneficiaries but more importantly on the national development of our country,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

“We believe the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan can be more impactful if it can be scaled up including encouraging growth through South-South partnerships,” added Amb. Amina Mohamed.

Saying Kenya supports the established Commonwealth Scholarship Endowment Fund, the Cabinet Secretary appealed to Commonwealth member countries to meet their obligations by making timely payments to support the Fund.

“Kenya supports the established Endowment Fund. Kenya was the first country in Africa to make its contribution to the Fund and we continue to be passionate and committed to it,” said Amb. Amina Mohamed.

In a separate meeting with the Rt. Hon. Nick Gibb, Minister of State for Schools Standards, Department for Education, the CS appealed to the UK to increase scholarships for Kenyan students under both the Commonwealth and Chevening programs.

The Cabinet Secretary further urged the UK to consider reviewing language proficiency requirements for Kenyan students saying English is the medium of instruction in Kenyan schools.

The Cabinet Secretary also called for strong partnerships with the UK especially in support of digital learning, curriculum review and development as well as increasing school infrastructure in Kenya.

Kenya has been a beneficiary of Commonwealth scholarships including an average of 52 consistent scholarships from India, 2 from New Zealand and 12 from Pakistan. Presently, there are 29 Commonwealth scholarships tenable in the United Kingdom for 2017/2018 against an annual average of 10.

The Cabinet Secretary is on Friday expected to formally affirm Kenya’s acceptance of the offer to host the next Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers which will take place in 2021.

The Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers is a high-level triennial meeting that brings together education ministers from the 52 Commonwealth countries to discuss key issues on education.

The triennial meeting is the second largest meeting organized by the Commonwealth Secretariat, following the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

CCEMs provides Commonwealth Education Ministers with an opportunity to share knowledge and best practices in the education sector, receive updates on actions achieved against CCEM mandates, as well as identify areas of common action for the next three years.

The 20th CCEM in Nadi has convened under the overarching theme, ‘Sustainability and resilience: Can education deliver?

The 19th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (19th CCEM) was held in Nassau, the Bahamas, in June 2015.