Lack of a title deed is hampering the growth of Karuri Medical College in Kiambaa Sub-county of Kiambu County.
The Principal of the only tertiary institution in the area , Bernard Gitau, revealed to KNA from his office today that the college had a population of 350 students only and that it would triple the number if the matter of boarding facilities are addressed in time.
We have land but we cannot construct anything because the land belongs to the National government and the college forms part of the institutions on a parcel of about 20 acres that have no title deed.
The students comprise of first, second and third year students pursuing diploma courses while others pursuing a two- year certificate course in public health.
The Principal said the institution, apart from being handicapped in infrastructural advancement, was offering a diploma in medical social work which was a unique course that is really going to assist reunite offenders back into the society.
Gitau explained to KNA that the course had attracted 22 students who were pioneers after the course was temporarily discontinued for five years owing to internal wrangles in 2011.
He said the 350 students was a drop in the ocean as if there were hundreds of parents and guardians who have been visiting the institution to seek admission for their children and relatives but whenever they heard that they would have to seek accommodation outside the institution, most of them go never to return.
They come all the way from coast, North Eastern and even Nyanza but when they find that the institution does not have boarding facilities they walk away, some parents don’t even imagine that they could allow their teenage children to some rental houses outside the institution, he said.
He regretted that most parents could not leave their youthful children in an environment where they would rent private accommodation outside the college premises and that lack of a title continued to ail the institution as I cannot construct any permanent structure here even if I had a donor to support the initiative.
The Principal recalled that the institution was established in 1908 by the colonial settlers in some wooden structures. It would train for all students in the county and in 1963 it started mainly training community health courses which are very marketable owing to the social and economic dynamics affecting society.
The graduates from this college are taught to be entrepreneurs and since they are well exposed while in training they don’t tarmac for long since health professionals are a much-sought-after.
On tracking down, the records of the institution since it was re-opened, he says, it had become difficult as when it was closed temporarily, all historical materials was ferried to Nairobi. Therefore, it is not easy to know how many students have passed through this institution.
Efforts to get assistance to construct from the Kiambu County Government have also been futile as its ownership lies on Government land of the National Government.
Source: Kenya News Agency