Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 November 2016, 22:14 by Denis Chabrol
Investigations are ongoing to identify person or persons who may have been responsible for the leak of examination papers before the sitting and assessment of 250 nursing students on October 19 and 20, 2016, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported on Tuesday.
Nurses who sat the Clinical and Functional examination in October were informed by Principal Tutor of the Georgetown School of Nursing, Cleopatra Barkoye that nursing students may have to re-sit the examinations since it had been discovered that the test papers may have been compromised.
Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton,on Tuesday told the media that steps are being taken to resolve the matter. Minister Norton said, “This finding has resulted in the Examination Committee of the General Nursing Council deciding to deem the current sitting null and void. The council has indicated that a new examination will be prepared and administered and the respective schools and students will be notified.”
Nurses from the New Amsterdam School of Nursing were the first to react to the decision made by the nursing council which was conveyed to them by Barkoye. The nurses refused to re-sit the examination. The relevant authorities involved have met to decide a way forward, more specifically to consider other alternatives in grading the students.
“In the meantime we are of the view that no final decision can be made in respect of the rewriting of the examination until a proper investigation is completed,” Minister Norton said.
Additionally, investigations into determining the source of the issue are still being sought after. The Public Health Minister added that, “The National Health Policy Committee of the Ministry of Public Health met with the Chairman of the Nursing Council, the Director of the Division of Health Science Education and the Principal Tutor of the Georgetown Nursing School yesterday (November 14), but we were unable to get pertinent answers to questions about this breach.”
The minister also explained that investigations will be directed to the General Nursing Council since examinations are prepared under their purview and persons responsible for the test papers’ compromise may be within that system. When guilty parties have been identified, they will be subjected to face the law.
“We were informed … that the papers were sold and if that is the case, I would think that an offence has been committed that would warrant an investigation by the police, motion has been set in place for that to happen,” Norton explained.
Meanwhile the minister pointed out that there may be other alternatives for the students to be graded; however a re-sitting of the examination is suggested.
“There are some amount of persons who think that they did the course over the three years and they would have been studying, would give an indication of (performance) if they are in doubt of this examination results, whether that can be used (for grading).”