By Matilda Atieno
The county government annual scholarship and bursary program has gone digital following the plan to digitalize all county programs and services to improve service delivery.
The online bursary system is one of the continuous efforts by the county government to digitize all programs and services to provide user-friendly services to residents and simultaneously reduce the cost of offering services.
In an interview with the county chief officer for Education and ICT, Madam Peninah Onyango stated that the County digital platform is a long-term effort to develop an online-based program to connect bright students to scholarships and bursaries supported by Kenya Commercial bank. This rich digital resource is an electronic money transfer developed and permanently maintained to support the county scholarship and bursary program.
Having endured a long and tedious approval process, delays in disbarment, lost and damaged cheques, the chief officer was confident that the digital platform will extend the usefulness of the scholarship and bursary program by increasing access to the valuable information and provides an opportunity for beneficiaries and other stakeholders to track and verify the process to a freely accessible, county online bursary and scholarship system resource.
Speaking in her Office Madam Onyango gave a step-by-step demonstration on how the system works stating the after the selection process has been done from the ward through to the sub-county level by a carefully chosen committee, the details of the successful beneficiary is keyed in through a provided template which includes the bank details, details of the school, class admission and amount. The system is a secured process with four approval stages to ensure checks and balances.
The County online bursary and scholarship currently in use is one of the success stories, interestingly viewed to be an effective and efficient system. According to the chief officer, the county government is considering the full adoption of the online system which is partly manual, explaining that the application and selection process is currently done manually as plans are underway to digitize the process from application to disbursement.
The acceleration of the County’s digital transformation is influenced by the widespread adoption of Internet-based services, increasing expectations for convenient access to government services bolstered by digital-aware residents, a rising need for quality service delivery and the inability of physical delivery channels to serve stakeholders at scale with efficiency.
The digital scholarship and bursary system is set to eliminate damaged and stolen cheques, through tracking of the transfer process and confirmation. The department is currently considering the digitization solution as a primary part of the county infrastructure planning and operations.