The HELB Debate has elicited a lot of reactions among Kenyans and especially among current and former University Students many of whom have vowed not to pay despite the numerous threats from HELB and the Education Ministry.
Kenyan Youths have called on the Government to ensure they get jobs before they it can start threatening them with arrests.
The Helb debate even made it’s way to the Kenyan National Assembly and Senate with a number of young legislators promising to take action against outgoing Education CS Amina Mohammed should she try to frustrate Young Kenyan Youths with arrests over Helb loan default.
Two Meru legislators have now added their voice on the ongoing debate and now want the HELB Act amended so as not to punish defaulters
Igembe South MP John Paul Mwirigi and Eala MP Mpuru Aburi have said they will soon propose the amendments to the National Assembly.
The two leaders condemned remarks made by Mohamed that the 74,000 HELB defaulters will be tracked down by police, arrested and compelled to repay the loans.
Mwirigi said he has drafted a bill to have amendments to Section 15 of the HELB Act of 1995 to have the beneficiaries start repaying the loan after they secure employment.
The Act states that the beneficiary shall be required to make payments, within one year of completion of his or her studies.
Mwirigi said the amendments are meant to cushion unemployed graduates from being charged interest on the loan before they have secured employment.
“Securing employment is still a hard task. Only a relatively small percentage of graduates secure employment within one year of graduation yet the interest already starts accruing,” the MP said.
Aburi asked the government to empower graduates before pushing them to settle the loans.
“The government should offer paid-internships and later job create opportunities to these graduates,” he said.