Education is universally recognized as an important factor contributing to economic growth and competitiveness, poverty alleviation, improved health, and increased stability for individuals, families, and entire nations. In its 2012 Education for All Global Monitoring Report, UNESCO estimated that every $1 spent on a person’s education yields $10 to $15 in economic growth over that person’s working lifetime.
In 2003, the Kenyan government made an important policy decision, to provide free primary education. This resulted in a nearly 15% increase in school enrollment in just one year. Yet many challenges remain in delivering quality, comprehensive education to all children, especially beyond primary school level, for the poor and vulnerable.
The Kenyan Government is actively seeking ways to mitigate the expenses of secondary school, but in the meantime, the cost of secondary school remains on average twelve to twenty times as much as the monthly income of parents in Kenya’s rural areas.
The challenge is similar in urban slum areas. Consequently, of those who sat the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in 2013, only 77% are expected to transition to secondary school, and of these, only about 13% will make it to public universities.
The transition to university education is equally as challenging for most students. Only 27% of the students graduating secondary school in 2013 earned a C+ or above, which is the minimum grade required for university admissions in Kenya. Even fewer qualified for government Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) loans, which only supports tuition fees. Students who qualify for university loans must therefore raise additional money to cover food, accommodation and transport costs.
Working together with partners, including donors, education authorities, community leaders, and Equity Bank branches throughout Kenya, EGF is working to increase access to education and build the leadership capacities of our Vision 2030 generation through two signature programmes:
Wings to Fly
The Wings to Fly programme is a partnership between The MasterCard Foundation, Equity Bank and EGF, with generous support from UKAID, USAID and the German Cooperation’s KfW Development Bank. Since 2010, the programme has grown from an initial commitment of 5,000 scholarships worth US$ 40.9M to 10,377 scholarships worth US$ 92M.
Equity Leaders Programme (ELP)
When the first class of Wings to Fly scholars sat for their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations in 2013, they knew that another coveted and highly competitive sponsorship, the Equity Leaders┬áProgramme (ELP), awaited those who would qualify. Scholars in this programme interact with the Wings to Fly scholars and mentor them on academic excellence.
The Wings to Fly Programme
Since 2010, the programme has grown from an initial commitment of 5,000 scholarships worth US$ 40.9M to 10,377 scholarships worth US$ 92M.
- Successfully completed secondary school education: 99% (2010) and 98% (2011)
- Scholars earning an A or A- on Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations: 41% (2010) and 30% (2011), compared to the national average┬áof 3%
- Scholars earning a B+ or higher: 67% (2010) and 50% (2011)
- School & Community Leadership: 79% of scholars take on school and community leadership roles, including school presidents, captains, prefects, council and club leaders as well as founders of mentoring programs and ┬ácommunity-based organizations
- University Admission: 94% (2010) and 93% (2011) qualify for university admission
- Acceptance to Equity Leaders Programme: 455 Scholars or 33% of Wings to Fly scholars in cohorts 2010 and 2011 are accepted to the Equity Leaders Program
Equity Leaders┬áProgramme (ELP)
- 2,673 ELP Scholars have benefitted from the programme since 1998.
- 99% of ELP Scholars transition from high school to university, enabled by the internship programme
and college savings scheme.
- More than 1,000 internships provided across Equity Group annually, making ELP the largest corporate
internship programme in Africa.
- 263 scholars admitted to top global universities, receiving more than $45 million in scholarships from
universities including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Amherst, and others.
- Over KSh. 1.5 million awarded in seed funding to the top scholar business pitches at the annual Equity
- Over 600 ELP Scholars currently in university serve as mentors to Wings to Fly scholars each term
at their respective high schools.
Susan & Purity Wangu Secondary School: Mugoiri Girls High School, Completed Form 4 and sat for the KSCE in 2014
Susan & Purity WanguRead More
Josphat completed class 1 at the top of his class and held his spot through class 8, receiving a score of 395 on the KCPE.
Josphat Loukot LowoiRead More
Gladys learned about ELP, and decided to repeat Form 4 with a view of becoming the top student in her district.
Gladys MutharaRead More
Rachael grew up in Karatina, where she attended Kiangurwe Primary School, then Mt. Carmel Girls Secondary School, a boarding secondary school in Nyeri County
Rachael Wangeci WamaeRead More
Attending an elite college in the United States was not something Elijah imagined as a young boy.
Elijah KoomeRead More
By donating to the Wings to Fly program today, you will support a bright, deserving child to access secondary school education and ultimately change their destiny and that of their families forever.Get Involved