CORD Leader Raila Odinga yesterday came close to endorsing a Bill authored by Kiharu MP Irungu Kangata and passed by parliament last week.
The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) Amendment Bill seeks to cushion graduates who are yet to be employed from a Ksh 5000 monthly penalty the loan body is imposing on defaulters.
“Loanees who have not secured a source of income within one year of graduation shall notify the board in writing and the board shall not levy penalty on the loan,â€ provides the Bill.
The Bill is facing opposition in some quarters, with Nation Newspaper terming it populist, and cautioning government against it. President Uhuru is yet to assent to the Bill.
While giving the keynote address at United States International University (USIU), the former Prime Minister waded into the students loan issue, urging authorities to ensure repayment of the loans doesn’t become punishment to students who benefited but are yet to get job placements.
“We need to rethink how to make life livable for students on campus and after. We must find ways of making student loans adequate for their changing and growing needs. We must also rethink how to have students repay their loans without feeling punished for having gone to university. There is need to ease the burden on those who take up lower-paying public service jobs.Â And we must ask ourselves; what do we do with those who took loans but never completed university?” asked Odinga.
Read the full speech here.