What you need to know:
- At Uzima University College’s medical school, which was ordered shut immediately, six out 10 departments are headed by lecturers who are not qualified.
- Some of the students learn in incomplete lecture halls and the school lacks dedicated laboratories for parasitology, haematology and pathology.
- The faculty does not meet the ratio of 1 lecturer for 12 students in pre-clinical lessons and 1 for seven in clinical lessons.
Most medical schools in universities are overenrolled, understaffed and lack basic teaching equipment, a new inspection report shows.
The damning report released on Saturday cites specific cases where departments of medicine are headed by unqualified lecturers, lessons are conducted in incomplete buildings and ill-equipped laboratories, with lecturer absenteeism and mix-up in lessons.
At Uzima University College’s medical school, which was ordered shut immediately, six out 10 departments are headed by lecturers who are not qualified. Some of the students learn in incomplete lecture halls and the school lacks dedicated laboratories for parasitology, haematology and pathology, according to the East African Community’s joint inspection of new and existing medical and dental schools in Kenya.
While the standard lecturer-to-student ratio for pre-clinical programmes is 1:12, the school runs a ratio of one lecturer for an average of 50 students and 50 percent of the teaching staff are temporary. In human anatomy for example, the ratio is 1:99.
At Egerton University, the faculty of health sciences has inadequate classrooms with broken tiles and insufficient chairs and has no audiovisual teaching tools. The report notes that microbiology is being taught together with pathology, which is against the rules.
The faculty does not meet the ratio of 1 lecturer for 12 students in pre-clinical lessons and 1 for seven in clinical lessons. On average, the faculty runs a ratio of 1 for every 50 students, demonstrating severe understaffing especially in human anatomy, microbiology, pathology and pharmacology programmes.
The report criticises the academic dean of Kenyatta University for “failing to provide effective management of the school of medicine” although he is qualified for the job. It notes that the human anatomy department is headed by a lecturer who is not an anatomist, while that of medical physiology is led by one who is not a physiologist.
“The contact hours between the lecturers and the students is wanting and this has compromised the quality of learning,” says the report, adding that the students reported missing histology practicals for a full semester. It also cites outdated equipment in laboratories and congested timetables.
The University of Nairobi is accused of overenrolling students in both pre-clinical and clinical years, against the set guidelines. Significantly, it says that some lecturers do not attend classes and that undergraduate students are taught together with their post-graduate colleagues in the human anatomy programme.
The school of medicine is understaffed in every department except paediatrics and child health. At Kenya Methodist University, the department of medical physiology is headed by a lecturer who doesn’t have a master’s degree. Some lecturers are not conversant with the contents of the curriculum.