Over 300 students of Trident College of Medical and Professional studies are stranded in Thika town after the proprietor of their college wound up the institution without notice.
The students demonstrated around Thika streets before matching to the area Director of Education office where they demanded to be addressed by the Director, Ronald Mbogo.
According to the student leader, Jackson Lulato, problems started last semester when the proprietor of the college, Faith Mwende Ouko, told them that she was about to do renovations of the college and they should therefore take their belongings to the store for safe custody.
“After we sat for the end of semester examinations, we broke for the August holidays and reported back to school on 5th September to find the college shut and we were not allowed access to the facility,” he explained.
He pointed out that efforts to trace the proprietor have been futile as she has engaged in a cat and mouse game as they tried to access her on phone and at some point, word had it that she was set to flee the country.
“We have been told that the college has been sold to another private developer and we are now not sure of our fate. We have not received our transcripts for all the examinations that we have been doing for
almost two years now and we are now calling on the relevant government authorities to intervene,” lamented Lulato.
The student leader alleged that most of the students have for the last two weeks been loitering in Thika town looking for accommodation and food as they had nowhere to go.
“We are suffering here yet our parents have paid school fees and we have no balances. We have nowhere to sleep or eat. We are demanding for the proprietor of the school to tell us what we are supposed to do,” said a second year medical student, Mercy Mbithe as she lamented.
Contacted for comment on phone, the proprietor Faith Mwende said that she opted to shut down the institution as she was not breaking even.
She said that the rents became unbearably high and she was unable to meet her obligations including servicing her bank loans.
Asked why she closed the school abruptly without giving the students prior notice of closure and making alternative arrangements for their transfer, Mwende lamented that the students became very rowdy and
violent and had even threatened to burn the school so she decided to go underground.
“I cannot refer these students to any other institution as they are violent and they appear to be out to cause destruction,” she told KNA on phone.
She however, maintained that she had reported the matter to the local police station and she was willing to clear with the students and issue them a release notice.
An officer from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVETA) Headquarters, Samwel Kipkemoi confirmed that the proprietor of Trident had visited their offices earlier this week and informed them of intention to close the college and they advised her to follow all the laid down procedures of winding up the institution which included making arrangements for an alternative College for the students.
“We have advised the lady accordingly and she is supposed to follow the guidelines to the letter and should not cause the students to suffer,” he concluded.
When KNA visited the premises and found guards manning the main entrance of the campus with a notice indicating that the proprietor was to meet with the students on Friday September 14, 2018 at 1.00pm
By Lucy Wangai