Oserian Development Company will offer full secondary school scholarships to eight top candidates from two primary schools within its farm. The eight, six boys and two girls studied at the Oserian Primary school, a public institution and the private wing, Hilltop Primary.
It was the first time in the history of the schools to produce a top candidate nationally, a fete that threw the firm’s community into a frenzy.
The good performance comes in the wake of the launch, early this year, of a school feeding program to which the management attributes the stellar performance that placed Oserian number one in the Mayela zone. The top boy, Churchill Omondi scored 424 marks, claiming a position among the top 500 candidates nationally. The second boy scored 419 while the third girl scored 398.
Oserian director of administration Mary Kinyua said the good performance, coming after pupils started getting a cup of uji for breakfast and lunch for free is a strong indicator of the need to introduce a countrywide school feeding program to keep children nourished so they could concentrate on studies.
Ms. Kinyua’s sentiments were echoed by headmaster Simon Mr. Mwangi who said,
“ the Oserian school feeding program has reduced absenteeism and given children the much-needed energy enabling concentration in school resulting in the highest marks ever.
The school feeding program and the scholarships are managed through FairTrade that identified the needs as a means to support pupils to pursue education and ease the burden on parents.
Joseph Njoroge, the representative of the Oserian-Fairtrade Joint Body added, unlike before when children left after school hours since the feeding started they stay on for preps because they are not hungry. “We believe in impacting communities by investing in education and results are speaking for themselves as seen in the first year performance since the feeding started”, he said.
Bursaries will also be offered to other students who scored 280 marks and above.
Churchill Omondi whose dream is to become a pilot has relieved his parents the burden of school fees for the next four years and his mother Mariam Aoko, who works at the flower farm couldn’t hide her gratitude for both the feeding program and the scholarship.
“ I haven’t worried about breakfast and lunch, and now I don’t have to worry about my son’s school fees,” she said thanking the Oserian management for the support.
The Oserian scholarships also cover university education for the top three students of Oserian High school, who are accorded a chance to work at the farm if they wish after college. Four of the first university beneficiaries are already at various higher institutions of learning in the country.
Ms. Kinyua added Oserian will pursue ways of sustaining both programs as its contribution to the Big 4 Agenda – education and food security. About 2,300 students are catered for.