Tana River KMTC administrators urged to introduce more courses

The upcoming academic block of the Kenya Medical Training College in Hola, Tana River County.

Photo credit: Stephen Odour I Nation Media Group

Education stakeholders want pharmacy and nursing courses introduced at Tana River Kenya Medical Training College as construction of the main academic block nears completion. 

Only health records keeping and community health courses are taught currently.

Speaking to Nation.africa in Garsen, they argued that the two courses will encourage enrolment and boost the growth of the college. 

"Most of our children are opting for colleges in Kilifi and Mombasa because the courses they need are not offered here and that has been very expensive for us," said Margaret Bonaya, a parent. 

Ms Bonaya noted that if the courses are offered at the local campus, parents will save money on accommodation and transportation for their children. 

They also noted that this will bolster the number of service providers in local hospitals and improve services. 

"We still are short of nurses in our referral hospital. You walk in there at night and there's nobody to attend to you. With students in internship, the hassle will be reduced," said Solomon Komora. 

Mr Komora also noted that being the first such college in the county, the presence of nursing, pharmacy and clinical medicine students will inspire hard work among students in local secondary schools. 

Parents said young people will aspire to be a part of the college and make something of their lives. 

"Most of them have nothing to aspire to. They only see people come back from big towns to get employed here. They believe the costs of going that far are expensive and therefore this will be an encouraging effort once established," said Ahmad Swaleh, a parent.

Parents also urged the government to invest more in facilities in the college to make it as big as others in the country. 

They also urged the Ministry of Education to deploy more students from other counties to the college to encourage and inspire a culture of learning. 

"Our children need to learn from someone, and that cultural diversity only thrives where there is a mixture of ideas and cultural values.

They copy from each other," said Hellen Abio, a teacher. 

The college, established in 2016, has not had an official administration block. Its 200 students use a county government building converted into classrooms. 

Its Principal John Kereri said the board will introduce more courses, enroll more students and hire more trainers, urging parents to be patient. 

Mr Kereri noted the construction of the official campus residential block is nearly finished and students will move there by June. 

"The work is moving pretty fast and we are hopeful we will be done in two months if all goes well. We are glad the government has acted quickly on this," he said. 

The Tana River campus will be the first institution of higher learning in the county.

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