Medical college rejects students in fresh row

By: OUMA WANZALA and LILLIAN MUTAVI

The fate of 2,285 students selected to join medical training colleges hangs in the balance after the institutions rejected them.

The students were selected by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service — a statutory agency tasked with placement of government-sponsored students in universities and colleges.

Speaking to the Daily Nation on Wednesday, Mr Martin Osome said he had been shortlisted to pursue a diploma in clinical medicine but was turned away by the management of Kenya Medical Training College in Nairobi when he went to collect his admission letter.

Mr Osome said he had seen his name in the local dailies after the placement agency published those shortlisted.

“I saw the shortlisted students in the dailies and today I went to pick up my letter only to be sent back,” he said.

His father, Mr Philip Osome, who accompanied him, said the medical college management told them that they do not recognise the placement service.

“These are government bodies and they all have mandates and when they fight it’s us who suffer, let them give us a solution,” he said.

On Saturday, the agency published in local dailies names of students who had been selected to study at the medical college, which had indicated it had slots for 4,860 students early in the year.

The college, however, maintains that it had warned applicants early enough against going through the agency.

“We will not admit any student through the placement service, as it would amount to breaking the law,” said medical college acting director Peter Tum.

He went on: “We are still under the Ministry of Health. The placement service has no business admitting students for us. Whoever they have admitted will not be accepted in any of our 42 campuses. There are no vacancies,” he said.

Placement service chief executive John Muraguri said it was unfortunate that the college had refused to admit the students.

“We are a statutory body mandated to place students in universities and colleges and that is what we have done,” said Mr Muraguri.

Technical and Vocational Education Training Authority Director-General Kipkurui Langat said medical college falls under the vacational training authority institutions and must admit students submitted by the agency.

“The placement of students by us is based on law and which all training institutions must adhere to,” said Dr Langat.

He said the authority had started accrediting all technical institutions, including those managed by government ministries and private colleges.

The Higher Education Loans Board also indicated that it would only provide financial support to students selected through the placement agency.