The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has castigated Health CS Mutahi Kagwe for making nurses’ English results public.
On Wednesday, CS Kagwe said 290 out of 300 Kenyan nurses who took an English test for UK jobs failed.
KNUN deputy secretary-general Morris Opetu and KNUN Kisumu branch secretary-general Ann Owiti accused Kagwe of exposing nurses to public ridicule, saying this might lower the confidence of Kenyans in the health workers.
Opetu further questioned how only 10 out of 300 nurses passed the exam despite Kenya being an English-speaking nation.
“I don’t agree that nurses failed the English test. All the years nurses have been in school, they speak and are taught in English. It should come with facts. Exams, be they British or Kenyan, are a private affair not to be discussed in public. We should not be embarrassed and looked down upon by other health workers,” Opetu stated.
The nurses are set to be employed in the British National Health Service (NHS) under a bilateral labor agreement between Kenya and the UK.
The MoU on the Kenya-UK Health Workforce Collaboration, which provides a framework for the exchange of healthcare workers between the two countries, was signed during President Kenyatta’s visit to London in July this year.
Labor CS Simon Chelugui said Kenya will be sending at least 20,000 nurses to the UK to address a shortage of 62,000. There are nearly 900 Kenyan nurses presently working in the UK public healthcare system.
The first cohort of between 1,000 and 2,000 Kenyan caregivers was expected to leave for the UK in mid-October.