ODM Wage War Against Ruto’s Plan to Abolish HELB.
Babu Owino, an MP for Embakasi East, has requested President William Ruto to reconsider his decision to abolish Helb.
Owino stated in a tweet on Tuesday that university students rely on the funds to study and that they require education to improve their future.
“For we live in an hour of change and challenge, a decade of hope and fear, in an age of both knowledge and ignorance. The greater our knowledge increases the greater our ignorance unfolds.”
His declaration follows Ruto’s announcement of plans to unify the three higher education funding bodies.
Ruto announced on January 1 that the government will establish the National Skill and Funding Council by merging Helb, TVET, and the University Funding Board.
The President stated that the measure will address the present 45 percent funding imbalance in higher education.
This plan, according to Ruto, will increase HELB funding from the current Sh11 billion to Sh22 billion and even remove Helb loan interest.
Opiyo Wandayi, a representative from Ugunja, has also expressed alarm on the President’s plans.
“As you disband HELB, what happens to the poor university students who are due to report for their new semester this month?” he asked.
“Do they also defer their studies for six months, which is historic?”
Helb was founded in 1995 and has since funded undergraduate and graduate programs for Kenyan university students.
A portion of Kenyans online also criticized the Head of State, stating that the elimination of HELB will hurt funding for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
They requested that the President revamp HELB so that it is more accessible to Kenyans.
Robert Alai, a member of the Kileleshwa County Assembly, criticized the action, stating that it was an attempt to cut financing to public universities.
“They won’t fund public universities and they will abolish HELB?” Alai questioned.