Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha has made changes to the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) management board amid students’ placement controversy.
According to a gazette notice dated August 18, 2023, Nakhumicha has revoked the appointments of Naomi Kathure Mutua, Stephen Ochiel, Jennifer Bosibori Kibagendi, and Fredrick Wamwaki.
Nakhumicha instead appointed Paul Kaino Cheboi, Eunice Wangui Karanja, Hardlyne Lusui, and Joseph Ouma Atonga to be members of the board for a period of three years, with effect from August 18, 2023.
The New KMTC Chairperson, Josea Kiplangat Cheruiyot, replaced Zachary Muburi Muita.
The changes come days after members of the Health Committee in the National Assembly convened a meeting and directed KMTC to take back the placement and admissions of students to the institutions.
Insiders have revealed that President William Ruto personally drove the decision to involve the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) in placing students within KMTC colleges to ensure impartiality in the admission process.
A source familiar with the intricacies of student placement stated, “The president was committed to establishing fairness, equity, and equal access to training opportunities when assigning students to KMTC colleges.”
The decision to move the process to KUCCPS ended the decades-old fight on the placement and admission role between the two government agencies.
KUCCPS CEO Dr. Mercy Wahome announced the change in July, noting, “This marks a significant achievement as KMTC and KUCCPS share a common goal of improving access to quality higher education and training opportunities for all Kenyans.”
She listed the programs offered at diploma and certificate levels, including community health nursing, mental health and psychiatry, midwifery, radiography and imaging, medical laboratory sciences, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physiotherapy, and public health.
On July 22, 2023, KUCCPS initiated the application portal for students interested in various KMTC colleges.
Dr. Wahome mentioned that the application was open to students who had completed the KCSE examination from 2013 to 2022. The application encompassed 30 KMTC programs, with the deadline set for August 4, 2023.
However, a few days after the application deadline, MPs summoned the ministry and KUCCPS staff on August 10 over the placement process.
The student’s placement to the KMTC institutions was the topic of discussion when the Members of Parliament (MPs) convened a meeting with senior officials from the Ministry of Education and the KUCCPS management on August 10.
Dr. Wahome, CEO of KUCCPS, attended the meeting on behalf of Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu.
During the meeting, the legislators demanded that the KUCCPS cease all student placement activities already underway.
They also directed that KMTC directly advertises and places students in various medical colleges across the country.
On Saturday, Cs Nakhumicah announced that the Mps decision to have KMTC place students had been overturned.
“The decision by (National Assembly) Health Committee was rescinded,” she said.