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Tragedy in Finland: Uasin Gishu county government accused of colluding with bank in scholarship scam

The tragic death of Mr Rodgers Kipruto in Finland has left his family in shock and mourning. Mr Kipruto was among 202 students from Uasin Gishu County who were sent to Finland under a controversial study program. The students were promised study and work opportunities, with successful candidates guaranteed stable employment upon completion of their courses.

However, the program was marred by controversies after the students ended up being stranded in a foreign country over fee arrears.

The arrangement was that parents would remit their children’s fees through a county government account, and county officials would then settle the fees, with the devolved unit acting as guarantors. However, the county government failed to honor its obligations, leading to the discontinuation of studies for the Kenyan students at Laurea University, where Mr Kipruto was studying nursing.

The 26-year-old is reported to have died by suicide in Finland due to frustration following the stand-off between the county government and parents on modalities of settling the fee arrears to enable him to continue with his studies. Mr Kipruto had complained about the difficulties he faced in the foreign land, including financial constraints, menial work, and depression, and he regretted going to Finland. He had enrolled for a nursing degree after quitting his job as a nurse at Nakuru Level-five Hospital.

The deceased’s father, Mr. Jonathan Kosgei, expressed his sadness at his son’s death and urged the government to intervene in the plight of other students who were still stranded in Finland. Mr. Kosgei said his son had a better job working as a nurse aide in Kenya and regretted going to Finland. He called on parents to be careful when making such deals and advised the government to be honest when dealing with education matters.

The Uasin Gishu county government has been accused of colluding with a bank to fleece parents in the scholarship scam. The Laurea University, which had discontinued studies for the Kenyan students and threatened to deport them over fee arrears, has been urged to be humane and compassionate in handling students’ affairs.

In conclusion, the death of Mr. Rodgers Kipruto is a tragedy that could have been avoided if the county government had honored its obligations, and if the program had been well thought out and executed. It is a sad reminder that students’ welfare should always come first, and education should not be used as a tool for personal gain or political expediency.

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