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Helb to release loans as students cancel planned protests

First Year university students will finally receive loans from the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) after a five-months delay.

Chief Executive Officer Charles Ringera said the money will be in their accounts by Tuesday.

“We are working today (Sunday) to ensure successful candidates are made aware of their awards,” Mr Ringera said.

University students on Monday morning cancelled their planned protests, with the Kenya University Students Organisation chairman Babu Owino saying Helb had agreed to disburse the money.

The board has identified 65,000 candidates out of the 110,000 applicants who have met the conditions.

Mr Ringera declined to state whether all the 65,000 will get loans.

HOW MUCH?

The board will look at the measure of vulnerability.’

He also declined to reveal how much the government has allocated them for the loans.

“Successful students will get what they applied for. At the moment, we are more concerned with allocation and awards,” he said.

The government was to put in Sh2.5 billion to facilitate the loans.

Admissions to public universities, under the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service, rose to 56,938 students last year from the 53,010 in 2013.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich allocated Helb Sh4 billion in the current budget. The agency made recoveries worth Sh3.3 billion last year, making a total of Sh7.3 billion.

Parliamentary Committee on Education Vice-chairman Julius Melly called on the National Treasury to device a better ways of releasing the cash so that students are inconvenienced.