Investing in children’s education policy

Every child in Kenya has a right to free and compulsory basic education, according to the Basic Education Act 2013 of the constitution.

Education is an important but expensive investment, and this is a fact both locally and internationally. For this among other reasons, the Kenyan government introduced and has implemented Free Primary and Secondary education. This was a plan to ensure that there is 100% transition from primary to secondary school by the year 2027 from the current estimated transition level of 75%, according to Africa Check.

Despite the free primary and secondary school education, most parents still opt to take their children to private schools.  Statistics show that more than half of primary school students in Nairobi attend private schools despite the free education scheme. This is because some parents feel that public schools are overpopulated and learners have no one-on-one time teachers, resources are generally very scarce. This has seen many middle level income Kenyans live from hand to mouth and some end up living on loans to sustain their children in school. This is the reason why most middle level income earners retire very poor.

But think about it this way. There is a project that could help you cover education expenses and relieve you of the loan burden while your child attains, primary, high school or even university or college. It is something you most certainly must have heard of, Insurance. I call it a project because as per the definition, “an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular goal.

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For the four years I was in university, my parents spent roughly over Ksh900000 on fees only, minus the accommodation, upkeep allowance e.t.c. This is a lot of money and I am sure there are others who have paid more. God bless our parents/guardians/sponsors for paying these amounts for us to acquire an education.

In this article, I will use myself as an example because this topic is very relatable and close to me. So, moving on, if my parents were aware about an insurance policy that could cover my siblings and I through school, they would have saved themselves a lot as this expense would have been covered by an insurance company. And, I would not have applied for Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), although it was very helpful and it has been of great assistance to many Kenyans.

Do not get confused. Let me elaborate. Life insurance is whereby a person protects the family from the loss of the breadwinner. This is to mean that if anything happens to the main contributor of the family, then the children, the wife/husband (beneficiaries) will be paid by the insurance company as per the agreed amount. It is divided into two; Endowment Life Insurance and Pure Life Insurance. Pure Life Insurance means that the policy holder pays premiums until his/her death and the beneficiaries can only benefit when the insured is dead or if the policy holder is totally/partially disabled. Endowment Life Insurance means that one can choose a time until when to use the “fruits” of the premiums as it matures after that agreed time. And this is where the education policy comes in as a product designed as a savings tool to provide money upon an agreed time by the policyholder.

How does this work? For instance, Adanna wants to insure her son Joseph’s high school education. He is now three-years-old and therefore in about ten-years time, he would be enrolling in Form One. So she would take this policy that matures when he is thirteen years so that they monies can be used to pay for his fees, either a percentage per year or once. Therefore, in the event that Adanna dies between this ten-year period, Joseph will receive a lump-sum amount and still have fees covered. So, an education policy is an endowment life insurance that helps parents invest and at the same time protects their children from dropping out of school in the event of the parents death or disability. Premium, which is the amount of money you pay in exchange for insurance, can be paid monthly, quarterly or annually, depending on the insured person’s preference.

In Kenya, insurance penetration is at 2.7% which means the awareness rate is very low. Many people think that insurance is for the rich but it is not. It is for anyone who can afford to pay a premium flexible for them. And they say, “the sooner you start, the younger the child, the cheaper it is.” The policies are broken down in a way that you as the person being insured can see clearly how this benefits you and saves you a lot by just paying little. It is also very important that you compare available premiums before you decide to go for one. This process has been made easier through online services for example www.bismart.co.ke Their website allows you to browse through different packages from various insurance companies while at the same time providing you with the relevant assistance you may need.

Therefore, start thinking about a plan to insure your child’s education while they are still young. Remember, it is not expensive as you may think it is. These are just misconceptions! Interact with us on the social media links below and let us know what you think about this policy.

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Mtoto News is a Digital Online platform of news, information and resources that aims at making significant change in the lives of children by making them visible. Read mtotonews.com or follow us on twitter and Facebook @mtotonewsblog 

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