Lack of a title deed is hampering the growth of Karuri Medical College in Kiambaa Sub-county of Kiambu County.
The principal of the only tertiary institution in the area Mr. Bernard Gitau expressed fears during an interview with KNA that the college with a population of atleast 350 students could not take any expansive project because the land was still under the National Government.
“We have land but we cannot construct anything because the land belongs to the National government and the college forms part of the institutions on a parcel of about 20 acres that have no title deed” he said.
He said the students undertaking three years diploma courses of various disciplines including public health required more boarding and other facilities which could only be sorted after the transfer of the title.
Mr. Gitau said the institution apart from being handicapped in infrastructural advancement it was offering a diploma in medical social work which was a unique course that is really going to assist reunite offenders back into the society.
He narrated how the institution had gone through mayraid of challenges since the inception when only 22 students were admitted but were forced to temporarily discontinue their studies for 5 years owing to internal wrangles in 2011.
Gitua was optimistic that with the projected expansions the college could absorb three times the current figures as more and more parents were turned away while seeking chances for their children.
“ The 350 students is a drop in the ocean as if there were hundreds of parents and guardians have persistently been visiting the institution to seek admission for their children but most were disappointed on learning that fresher’s must seek accommodation elsewhere.”
“They come all the way from coast, North Eastern and even Nyanza but when they find that the institution does not have boarding facilities they walk away, some don’t even imagine that they could allow their teenage children to some rental houses outside the institution” he said.
He regretted that most parents could not leave their teenage children in an environment where they would rent private accommodation outside the college premises and that lack of a title continued to ail the institution as “I cannot construct any permanent structure here even if I had a donor to support the initiative”
The principal recalled that the institution was began in 1908 by the colonial settlers in some wooden structures. It would train for all students in the county and in 1963 it started mainly training community health courses which are very marketable owing to the social and economic dynamics affecting society.
“The graduates from this college are taught to be entrepreneurs and since they are well exposed while in training they don’t tarmac for long since health professionals are being sought by most institutions.
On tracking down, the records of the institution since it was re-opened, he says it had become difficult as when it was closed temporarily, all historical materials was ferried to Nairobi. Therefore it is not easy to know how many students have passed through this institution
Efforts to get assistance to construct from Kiambu County Government have also been futile as its ownership lies on Government land of the National Government.
By Lydia Shiloya.