Monday August 11 2014

90 per cent pass nurses, midwives exams

By Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa

A total of 2,540 (90.5 per cent) nurses and midwives have passed the May 2014 final examinations making them eligible to join the health service. Of these (2,540), 2,414 were certificate candidates and twelve of them posted distinctions, up from six candidates last year.

However, some 265 candidates were ungraded, meaning the candidates did some work but it was not decipherable. A total of 2,805 students sat for the May exams. UNMEB executive secretary Hellen Mukakalisa partly attributed the impressive performance to the recently introduced promotional exams in all the health training schools.

“This initiative [of introducing promotional exams] has motivated students to study harder to pass them in anticipation of their eligibility to be registered for state final examinations by UNMEB,” she said.

She said two students of Kabale Institute of Health Sciences were barred from sitting the exams by the proprietor under the pretext of not paying tuition, yet the duo had registered for the papers.

‘This being a contravention of Section 2.5(a) of the Rules governing the conduct of UNMEB exams, the board has taken appropriate action against the institution in question,” she added.

When releasing the exams in Kampala on Friday, Education minister Jessica Alupo applauded the candidates for posting good results, saying such a development re-energises their efforts to increase funding to health training institutions.

Equipping centres
“This is a step in the right direction and as government it gives as more energy to ensure that all practicum sites are adequately equipped to facilitate students’ practical skills acquisition,” she said.

However, the minister said to maintain the good performance, government will discourage opening up of nursing schools that don’t meet the Education Basic Requirements and Minimum Standards.
“We are not going to entertain any health training institution that doesn’t meet the set minimum standards,” she added.

She said government had also provide an increment in funding for all examinations boards to minimise the funding gaps they have for long been experiencing.

Currently, there are 68 institutions that offer nursing and midwifery courses. To qualify, a student must have excelled in biology and chemistry, and priority is usually given to female students. Last year, 1,467 candidates out of the 1,850 who sat the papers passed both at diploma and certificate levels.