By John Majau

All 2021 KCPE candidates from Abuthuguci West Ward in Imenti Central Constituency of Meru County have a reason to smile after the area Member of County Assembly (MCA) bought them school shoes.

Many of them, including parents, could barely hide their joy after the burden of purchasing new shoes was lifted off their shoulders in the face of the hard economic times.

One of the beneficiaries Ramon Mwiti grinned from ear to ear as he reported back to school. He had scored an impressive 351 marks and was selected to join Igembe Boys.

“We had so much to buy to enable me report to school, yet there is no money. I had to forgo some items; those that I can do without. But I am happy because at least I have a free and strong pair of shoes which will last for a good period of time,” Mwiti said.

The MCA’s magnanimity was channeled through a local charitable organization going by his own name; Patrick Muthuri Family Foundation, which gifted all the 1,049 candidates a new pair of black school shoes, socks and polish.

Their parents, even those who could afford the gear, appreciated the gesture as a demonstration of goodwill and awareness of their needs.

As is usual, the pre-secondary school period is a nightmare to most parents.

So when the foundation, founded by the MCA a couple of years back, offered to buy the shoes for all those who sat KCPE, parents and children sighed with relief.

Mr Muthuri, whose foundation has offered other educational assistance including scholarships to the needy in the area, said he decided to buy shoes for all to boost their morale as they joined various high schools.

“My friends and I decided to buy a pair of shoes for all irrespective of the marks they got or the schools they had been admitted to. It was a way of offloading the burden on parents,” said Muthuri.

While appealing to other well-wishers to chip in and help in the improvement of transition rates, Muthuri said it was important to ensure the students have necessary provisions to stay in school.

His foundation runs a programme dubbed “Girls Always in School”, which provides the learners with sanitary towels and other assistance to ensure their stay in school is as comfortable as possible.

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