A report on the Performance Needs Assessment of the Kenya Health Training System 2011 said some students reported harassment by men lecturers, especially during exam time.
“There are sex engineered grades whereby a male lecturer will require a student to perform sexual favours before being awarded certain grades. Participants reported that some instructors requested female students to give in before they are assisted in their work, and if the student did not comply, she should be given a failing grade,” the report released Wednesday says.
Launched by Public Health and Sanitation Permanent Secretary Mark Bor in Nairobi, the study by Capacity Kenya NGO said women students who reported being harassed by men tutors believed there was no avenue for recourse.
Men participants reported being involved in love triangles and being bullied or harassed by men lecturers who were interested in the same women students.
The report called for development of policies and programmes to protect students from sexual harassment, enforcing existing codes of conduct including sacking of tutors who harassed students and creation of “safe space” for students to anonymously report the vice without fear or reprisal.
The report further called for an end to discrimination of students based on pregnancy. The students regretted that their women colleagues had been forced to terminate their studies due to pregnancies.
The report proposed that through policy development, pregnant students and those with family responsibilities, should be allowed to continue with their education and work without discrimination.
“Colleges should end punitive policies or practices that target pregnant students and introduce alternatives to reduce drop out rates,” the report said.
The report called for harmonisation of curriculum across institutions offering medical courses and that regulatory bodies should be completely delinked from training institutions.
It also called for better remuneration of medical workers and curriculum review to be at par with technological changes.
The report was sponsored by United States Agency for International Development (USAid).