55 of the 65 sponsored students who sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) last year scored C+ and above guaranteeing them automatic entry to public universities.
The KTDA Foundation sponsorship programme targeting bright students from underprivileged families in tea catchment areas was started in 2013 with the 2016 class being the first batch of students to finish Form Four.
An analysis of the performance shows 10 students scored an A-, 15 got a B+, 14 scored B, 6 got a B- and 10 got a C+.
The 84 per cent pass rate by the KTDA-sponsored students compares favourably to the national 15.4 per cent pass mark highlighting the key role in supporting bright but underprivileged children through high school.
"This is a superb performance for our pioneer class of Form Four and has set the bar for subsequent students under the KTDA Foundation,” KTDA Holdings national chairman Peter Kanyago said.
“We currently have 269 students under the Foundation and we are going to sponsor more students in Form One in the year 2017.”
The chairman noted that KTDA staff have played a major role in mentoring the students and the Foundation Trustees have consistently provided excellent leadership to enable such rewarding performance.
The students were sponsored directly in the schools each was admitted to and were provided mentorship throughout their four years of study. Mentorship was administered in order to develop the students all round.
Every year, KTDA Foundation organizes a mentorship week for all the sponsored students and KTDA staff spend time with the students and guide them in both their social issues and academic work.
Numerous studies including those by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) have highlighted a positive correlation between education and eradication of poverty.
The sponsorship will give the students a chance to pursue their careers and lift their families from destitution.
The 2016 KCSE whose results were released on December 30 have been widely accepted as a true reflection of students’ efforts after stringent checks to curb cheating.
Short-listing for deserving Form One students is currently ongoing with about 75 students set to be selected. The students are picked from all tea catchment regions and need to have scored over 350 marks in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE).