Latest update June 2nd, 2023 12:49 AM
Mar 15, 2017 News
Massive fail rates reported
“Unsatisfactory,” was the adjective used by Mr. Terrence Esseboom, the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Public Health, when asked to comment on reports of an appalling failure rate at the recent re-sit examination of the Professional Nurses State Final Examination. “I know that schools across the board didn’t do well…As to a percentage I can’t give you that, but I know across the board they really didn’t do well and that is for a particular paper.”
Esseboom was, however, not in a position to shed further light on the results of the examination which became available to the Public Health Ministry last week.
However, based on information that reached this publication there has been a reported 90 percent failure rate at the examination.
This, however, has not been the first occasion of atrocious results at nursing examination which has called into question the quality of candidates being accepted for the various nursing programme.
The recent examination represents the 2016 Professional Nurses State Final Examination. Nursing students from across the country were required to re-sit the examination since there were allegations that the examination was leaked ahead of being administered in October of last year.
Attempts to contact Senior Minister of Public Health, Ms Volda Lawrence, yesterday were futile. Up to yesterday, she was overseas on work detail.
There are reports that suggest that the previous examination was leaked by officials within the Guyana Nursing Council (GNC). Former Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton, had told media operatives that there were reports that the situation was one that might have been very lucrative for those who would have leaked the examination.
Added to this there are reports that this was not the first occasion that the nurses’ examination might have been compromised.
Based on a ‘tip’, the Ministry of Public Health had called in the Guyana Police Force to investigate the leaked examination. To date there has been no report of an arrest. In fact, at a press conference earlier this year Minister Lawrence had revealed that the matter was still under investigation.
Although 250 nursing students had participated in the examination last year, this publication understands that only about 150 were required to re-sit the examination last month.
Those who re-wrote the nursing exams were students from the Georgetown School of Nursing, the Charles Roza School of Nursing (Linden), the New Amsterdam School of Nursing, and the privately-operated St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Georgetown.
While students from the four institutions have all denied involvement in the exams violation, reports from the Public Health Ministry suggest that a number of students from the Georgetown School of Nursing were in possession of the leaked examination.
Because of the leaked examination and the fact that the Nursing Council is believed to be involved, a decision was taken have the Ministry of Education prepare and administer the examination instead.
In essence, “The Ministry of Education will act on behalf the Ministry of Public Health to engage its personnel to prepare multiple choice questions; to administer those questions [and] to have a group of persons recruited to mark the essay part of those questions,” Minister Lawrence had disclosed.
The examination was administered on February 21, last, at the Critchlow Labour College, Woolford Avenue, Georgetown. The results were handed over to the Ministry of Public Health last week.
The Public Health Ministry, according to one official, has lost confidence in the Nursing Council.
Moreover, among a broad range of proposals floated for consideration by the Nursing Council is the involvement of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) which sets the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE); dialogue with the University of Guyana (UG) and collaboration with the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), an arm of the Ministry of Education, to help “find a way to improve the scholastic abilities of our nursing students,” Lawrence has said.
“Security consciousness, clearer guidelines for the Council, an enhanced marking scheme and outsourcing the grading of students’ examination scripts are likely to characterise the future of the nursing programme,” according to information disseminated by the Public Health Ministry.
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