Nursing students meet Minister Norton – seeking answers on re-sitting of exams
GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Students representing the four nursing schools across the country today, met with Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton to vent their concerns on the issue of re-writing the state final examinations.
The group, representing the 250 students who sat the Clinical and Functional examinations, complained of the attitude meted out to them by principal tutors of the respective schools when seeking answers. They also said that the answers sought after must be favourable, and agreed upon by all students.
The students suggested to the minister that swift action must be taken in identifying persons responsible for the compromise of the examination papers. The students were informed by way of a ‘read-out’ letter that they may have to re-sit the examinations which were conducted on October 19 and 20.
One student explained that, “on the day that the letter was read to us, which was November 11, the contents of the letter stated that it was sent on or it was prepared on November 4, signed for on November 8 and read to us on November 11 and the set date for the exam was supposed to be sometime in November. Now how can it be possible that you can have such a letter in your possession at an earlier time and choose to read it at a later time knowing that there is a limited time frame that you plan to have the student re-sit the exams?”
Other students complained of the emotional stress that has been placed on them as a result of being informed of the possibility of re-sitting the exams. They asked Minister Norton to engage with their principals and the nursing council for answers.
The biggest factor with regards to this issue is the sacrifice that has to be made for the re-sitting of these exams. All the students said they are not prepared for it due to multiple reasons, including financial constraints, and family commitment.
Minister Norton said, that he does not believe that these students should endure the burden of re-writing examinations and is disappointed to hear of the treatment they received while seeking answers.
“We made every effort informing the personnel of the authority of that policy committee, but we still could not get any information. We were also told by the (student) nurses that no attempts have been made to furnish them with further or better particulars in relation to how, where and when the set examinations were compromised,” Minister Norton said.
Minister Norton explained, on Tuesday, at a press briefing that no final decision has been made on whether the examination should be re-written. However, the Minister pointed out that investigations are ongoing to identify the person or persons who may have been responsible for the leak and have those sanctioned.
The Public Health Minister proposed an alternative grading scheme, but students especially from the Georgetown School of Nursing said that the grades for some of the course work and assignments submitted had been withheld by facilitators.
By: Delicia Haynes