Upgrading registered nurses and midwives at Malawi College of Health Sciences ((MCHS) have stayed home for five months with no clue as to when they will return to college.
The diploma students, some of them self-sponsored and others sponsored by National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives (Nonm), left school in March this year after their end-of-year examinations.
According to some affected students Nation on Sunday spoke to, the college released their results in June, but no communication was made about the reopening of the college.
One of the students said he got news from the grapevine that the reopening has delayed because Nonm did not finish paying fees for government-sponsored students.
But Harriet Bwanali from Nonm secretariat in an interview on Wednesday said when they tried to find out from a course coordinator about the delay after Nation On Sunday stepped on the issue, they were informed that some students sat for supplementary examinations and results have just come out.
Asked specifically about reports that Nonm did not finish paying for its sponsored students, Bwanali said Nonm pays the fees in instalments, adding that when she called the college, they were told that a meeting has been arranged to discuss the matter.
The students interviewed complained that they should have been completing the two-year course next April, but the delay would take them into 2017.
“The most worrying thing with some of us employed in private hospitals [including Christian Health Association of Malawi (Cham)] and self-sponsored is that we were removed from the payroll.
“We were also asked to leave institutional houses and we had to take our families home. The families are looking up to us and had expectations that come April next year, we are finishing. But this will not be the case, unfortunately,” complained one of the students.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe said his ministry is not directly involved in the programme, adding the agreement is between the college and Nonm.