KCB Bank Kenya on Friday announced that it has set aside some Ksh250 million earmarked for lending to schools as unsecured loans ahead of reopening in the backdrop of the COVID-19 induced hiatus.
The commitment is expected to boost ongoing preparatory efforts by academic institutions raring to reopen and would need financing to get their affairs back in order.
Speaking when he announced KCB Bank’s new Learning Institutions Proposition, KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara said the bank had designed a range of tailor-made solutions to ease school reopening pressures.
The bank, he disclosed is currently working with over 23,000 learning centres to deliver a seamless experience in education financing.
The bank, Oigara said has introduced a new solution for financing infrastructure development, specifically targeting to meet the key compliance directives issued by the government in regards to COVID-19 back to school preparedness.
Both public and private schools can now access loan facilities to support and meet the reopening guidelines set by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health.
“Specifically, we are offering secured and unsecured loans and overdrafts with flexible terms to schools for initiatives such as infrastructure development,” Oigara said at a function graced by Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha.
Conscious of the reopening challenges facing both public and private schools, KCB Bank Kenya, Oigara said is extending asset-based finance scheme loans to cater for water tanks, hand washing points, gloves, masks, fumigation services, desks, chairs and all hygiene and sanitization needs, required for back to school activities.
“For both institutional and staff needs, we will finance IT equipment, generators, solar installation, new and used personal vehicles and insurance premium finance,” he said, adding that, “The education sector is a key driver to the country’s economic agenda and the bank is committed to playing a catalytic role in supporting them through this phase. We have worked out an all-inclusive proposition which gives the learning institutions end to end support to achieve the guidelines set for reopening.”
To cushion customers from the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic to date, KCB Bank has approved the restructuring of loans worth Ksh115 billion to its customers.
For academic institutions, the bank has restructured facilities worth over Ksh1 billion due to the reduced cash flows resulting from the closure of schools.
“Additionally, we have also offered repayment holidays during the period of school closure. This is to give learning institutions some relief as they get their finances and cashflows back in order. We pledge to continue walking this journey with our learning institutions, and we see this proposition as our support in this regard,” Oigara said.
While welcoming KCB’s support, Prof Magoha said: “We are looking at partnerships to ensure that we get the institutions ready to effectively offer learning services to all learners while at the same time guaranteeing the safety and well-being of the stakeholders in the education ecosystem. We are glad to see the bank offering both financial and non-financial support towards this,”.
The solution will also enable schools to provide personal protective equipment to staff and students who do not have access to the same. Schools, especially boarding schools will be required to fumigate their premises every so often. The bank has committed to financing this type of need.
KCB says it will continue financing hardware, software, and training costs to ensure that the schools can carry on with the virtual learning classes even as they plan to reopen.
The bank will also continue providing unsecured loans and overdrafts for salaries and short-term expenses for the schools.