By Abdimalik Hajir
A second institution of higher learning in northeastern was closed indefinitely on Saturday over security concerns.
This is after the government allegedly said it could not provide armed security to the institution.
Addressing the press while closing the Garissa Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC), institution’s Principal Mr Omar Osman said they reached at the decision after area County commissioner said the government has no security personnel to be deployed to the institution.
“The institution has formerly requested the local county commissioner to provide armed security to ensure our children are safe from terror gangs, however, we were told the government has no such arrangements,” he said.
The college offers nursing courses to over 250 students.
Mr Osman said as heads of the institution they cannot hold the students at ransom considering the massacre at Garissa University College within Garissa town where 148 people were killed.
He said the affected students, will be redeployed to other medical colleges in the country such as Kipenguria, Kabarnet, Thika, Muranga and Kitui to continue with studies uninterrupted.
However, he said, the students will face a lot of challenges since a part from Kepenguria, other colleges were not offering the Enrolled Community Nursing (ECN), which is offered at the college.
“It is unfortunate that a second college that has been serving an entire northern region has to be closed simply because the government can’t provide security to its children. How will the move be perceived by our enemies”, he said while he bid the students in an emotional farewell.
Mr Osman said the students’ morale had been dampened as they were uncomfortable to relocate from Garissa to new colleges as they have adapted to the local environment, academic and the non- academic staffs.
“There were some students who were coming from as far as Moyale and Mandera counties and here again they are supposed to move to a new environment and far-flung areas such as Kipenguria or Kabarnet. What will be in the minds of these students,” he said.
Despite the closure of the college, the principal noted, the academic and no-academic staffs will remain in the institution as they wait for new directives either requiring them as well to be transferred or otherwise.