MKU and MamaCare Initiative partner to train health workers for Germany market
Five students from Githunguri constituency in Kiambu county will get free training in German language skills at Mount Kenya University (MKU) after which they will be flying to Europe for paid internships in German hospitals from mid next year.
This follows a partnership between Githunguri MP. Hon. Gathoni Wamuchomba, through her MamaCare Initiative and Mount Kenya University. MKU has paid for the training by supporting MamaCare with Sh500,000.
The five students, some of whom are university graduates, commenced learning at MKU’s main campus last week. According to Dr. Christopher Mutembei, Director, MKU Centre for Professional Development and Kenya project coordinator, learning in German language will take a year at the campus after which the students will go for further training in German hospitals at an initial salary of about Euro 1,200 (Sh170, 000) per month.
Launching the project for Githunguri youth, Wamuchomba profusely thanked the university, particularly the MKU founder and chairman of its Board of Directors, Prof Simon Gicharu. “Am now a very proud mother and MP for Githunguri after getting this huge opportunity that will see the training of these five youth in German language skills to make them ready to work in the health sectors in Germany,” said the MP.
Initiative is a non-profit programme aimed at helping common Kenyans surmounts various challenges.
The project entails adult education dubbed Tusome and a social protection scheme for vulnerable men and women, including tackling drug abuse and alcoholism. Launched in 2018 by former President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Mama Care Addiction Recovery Centre has rehabilitated more than 300 addicts.
A partnership with a technical college offers technical training where the addicts get life supporting skills
The German language training opportunity follows a partnership signed last year MKU and Germany’s Hochschule Koblenz University of Applied Sciences to offer a Health Care Assistant training programme and apprenticeship pact where it is seeking to tap on growing demand of health workers in Germany. Hochschule Koblenz University of Applied Sciences is the lead partner.
The training is being implemented by MKU through a two-semester course and thereafter releases the students to German hospitals for guaranteed apprenticeship and subsequent job placement. The programme is being offered at the University Main Campus, Thika and Mombasa Campus. “Students will be provided with career opportunities in German hospitals. The University is also offering German Language Levels A1, A2, B1 and B2,” MKU vice chancellor, Prof Deogratius JAGANYI, said at the launch.
The MKU-Hochschule Koblenz University partnership aims at bridging a shortfall in the number of healthcare professionals in Germany, in which many people in the profession retire without enough people to replace them.
The opportunities are a result of groundwork done by a research consortium formed in February this year to look into how to resolve healthcare challenges while creating opportunities for healthcare professionals in Africa.
The consortium comprises Hochschule Koblenz as the project lead, AG Career Hub consultancy offering information on career and business opportunities in Germany and Africa) and African Nurses/Pfleger in Germany (a network with more than 2,000 African Healthcare in Germany).
“Due to its aging population, Germany is facing a significant shortfall of healthcare in the coming years. Various studies estimate a deficit of between 400,000 and 600,000 vacancies by 2030,” the research consortium noted.
Candidates are selected based on high school grades (equivalent to Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) C(Plain) and proficiency in German Language Skills in addition to an aptitude Test.
The German institution will ensure that students successfully complete the course in Kenya are guaranteed an apprenticeship in Germany.
“Students will enjoy the benefit of getting a student visa, salary and are provided with excellent job opportunities for full-time employment after completing their training,” said the MKU Vice Chancellor.
For the training in Germany, students are not charged any tuition fee but are entitled to get a working contract for the training with a monthly salary to cater for the basic needs and accommodation.
During the preparation in Kenya and training in Germany, the African Nurses/Pfleger and AG-Career Hub in Germany will support the students to successfully integrate into the training and working environment in German hospitals as well as organize the mentors and colleagues in Germany to accompany them during their stay.
“Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship, students will be offered career opportunities for full-time employment in German hospitals exposing them to extensive further specialized training opportunities among other benefits,” added the Vice Chancellor.
Article by: James Wakahiu