Aspiring medical students who dream of joining the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) this year face uncertainty and disruption after the National Assembly declared the placement process conducted by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS) null and void.
The decision comes amidst allegations of illegalities and irregularities, leaving over 42,000 applicants in limbo. Of the 42,000 applicants, only 11,975 (28%) secured spots in KMTC colleges, leaving 30,000 students without a placement, fuelling concerns about fairness, transparency, and the effectiveness of the placement system.
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The Parliamentary Committee on Health, led by Robert Pukose, has deemed the placement procedure marred by irregularities and law violations.
“It is obvious that the process is null and void; there is a court order that clearly says the placement of students should be done by the KMTC board, by KUCCPS conducting the placement is illegal,” Pukose said.
Parliamentary Committee on Health chair Robert Pukose with Health CS Susan Nakhumicha.
This verdict threatens to shake the educational landscape, requiring the affected students to initiate the application process anew due to the anomalies in the prior procedure. The move has stirred concerns over the applicants’ academic future and has ignited discussions about the oversight and management of the placement process.
The Committee also ordered KUCCPS to re-use the Sh8.4 million cumulative application fee the students paid to KMTC.
“It should be clear that the student who had paid the application fee should not repay when reapplying, but we will leave it to the board on how the selection will be done.”
During the committee’s inquiry, Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha appeared to explain the justification behind permitting KUCCPS to manage the placement process, despite the legal mandate resting with the KMTC board.
“There is a court stopping any association between KUCCPS and KMTC. Are you not aware that you were breaking the law? Did you seek advice from the AG?” posed Kilgoris MP Julius Sunkuli. “KUCCPS is a stranger in this placement. We should throw them out and allow the board to take over.”