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KMTC rolls out English proficiency training for nurses

Training has begun for nurses who will be looking to work in the United Kingdom

Mutahi Kagwe

An English course was officially launched by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) Main Campus in Nairobi.

Classes for the English Language Proficiency Training program will be offered to both in-person and virtual learners, with about 25 students taking the course physically and about another 250 virtually.

CS Kagwe outlined that the course's curriculum will be spread out over six weeks and is aimed at meeting international workforce standards.

The CS argued that nurses were missing international job opportunities over failure to pass the English test.

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"I was vilified for saying we (Kenyans) are failing in the English language. Kenyans can speak good English but that is not to say that we will pass professional exams as required in the international community," Kagwe said

The first batch of nurses is expected to fly to the United Kingdom in March 2022 with Kagwe noting that countries such as Saudia Arabia and Kuwait have already made requests for Kenyan health workers.

"Am happy to officiate this historic event. It is the first time the government is doing this just to prepare our workers to be internationally able and prepared and recognized," CS Kagwe stated.

Also present in the launch was the nursing board chairperson Dr Eunice Ndirangu who said the training marked a great milestone between the Kenyan government and the UK.

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"This marks a great milestone between the Kenyan government and the UK. The launch of this center is critical in making our nurses competitive internationally, " Dr Ndirangu said.

In October 2021, only ten out of 300 nurses passed the English proficiency test raising eyebrows among many Kenyans who questioned the readiness of the Kenyan nurses for the international market.

The Ministry also revealed joint plans between Kenya and the UK to set up a hub at KMTC to be used by Kenyan nurses when preparing for admission exams.

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