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MPs pushing for HELB changes

Members of Parliament (MPs) are pushing for changes to the Higher Education Loans Board among them the removal of the age limit for loan applicants who are joining universities.

Homa Bay Member of Parliament Peter Kaluma revealed that many student loan applicants have been turned away during university applications because of not having Identify Cards or even a Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) PIN number because they have not attained the age of 18.

“Some students have not yet joined university because they are under the age of 18. This is not because they did not perform well in their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) but only because of their age,” stated Hon. Kaluma.

“This is just an excuse to keep the students out. Loans are supposed to make admission to university be easy but at the moment it is the complete opposite,” said Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu.

In HELB’s defence, HELB CEO Charles Ringera said that the elephant in the room is budget limitations. The MPs issue was addressed when he responded that the portal for HELB application is always open for the minors to apply once they are 18 years of age.

“We are making efforts to attach parents to sign on their children’s behalf in case they are minor,”  said Ringera.

The table below shows the number of minors between the years 2016 and 2020.

Year
Number of Underage Students who qualified for university education
2016
3,500
2017
3,300
2018
2,900
2019
2,500
2020
2,200

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