Wings to Fly
Equity Nyeri, Branch Manager George Maina (right) and Nyeri County Education and Training Officer Esther Kioni (left) who are members of the Wings to Fly Community Scholarship Selection Board (CSSB) during a home verification visit with Edward Njoroge (centre) who scored 373 marks in the 2020 KCPE examinations.

Just over a decade ago, the transition to secondary schools for thousands of learners across Kenya was simply a nightmare.

Many a student would drop the call to join their preferred secondary schools in place for alternative choices, hugely denting their dreams to join lucrative career paths later in life.

As fate would have it, others would suffer the ignominy of discontinuing studies for lack of school fees.

For millions of others from humble setting, raising the required school fees, as well as money for transport, books, and pocket money—the key ingredients for smooth learning—used to be such a painstaking four-year ordeal.

Fast forward to today and the environment has changed a lot.

Corporates and individuals alike are extending a helping hand to exemplary students from needy backgrounds across Kenya.

From the local Member of County Assembly office to ministry websites to corporate portals, the list of where needy students can seek financial support is growing longer by the day.

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And these scholarships are bearing fruit if analysis of how the beneficiaries of Equity Group Foundation (EGF) Wings to Fly scheme, who sat for the 2020 Form Four exams, is anything to go by.

A total of 203 Wings to Fly scholars scored a mean grade of A plain and A minus, forming part of Kenya’s 7313 students, who topped in the national exams.

“Of the 203, 18 scored a mean grade of A plain and 185 scored A-, while 1,410 out of a registered class of 1,640 attained university qualifying grades; representing a university transition rate of 86 per cent. The highest transition rate for the program over the last 5 years,” EGF said.

The group of 1,640 scholars, which was beneficiary of the 2017 Wings to Fly cohort of 1,680 learners, sat for last year’s KCSE exams posting a 98 per cent completion rate.

The 2020 Wings to Fly finalists raises the total number of scholars examined so far to 13,568 with 10,991 or 83 per cent posting the minimum university entry grade of C+ and above.

“Despite being in a COVID-19 year, the 2017 Wings to Fly cohort registered a very high completion rate and transition rate as 1,410 will proceed to join both local and global universities. Together with our partners, we are proud of their achievements and wish them all the best even as they enter a new phase of their lives,” said Equity Group CEO, Dr James Mwangi.

Last year, EGF partnered with Mastercard Foundation to provide over 14,600 Wings to Fly, Elimu and TVET scholarship beneficiaries with a monthly stipend of Kes 3,000, a transistor radio-cum-solar lamp and psychosocial support as part of efforts to cushion the scholars from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

EGF’s Wings to Fly scholarship covers school fees, transport, books, pocket money, mentoring, psychosocial support, and leadership development.

The Mastercard Foundation has been EGF’s anchor partner.

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