Kampala. The Ministry of Education has dropped 6,000 students, admitting only 2,500 who had applied to study nursing and midwifery certificate courses in government-aided institutions.
Mr James Mugerwa, the assistant commissioner-in-charge of vocational education, told Daily Monitor that because of limited space, they only managed to admit fewer students on certificate programmes even when majority of the applicants had the minimum qualifications.
“We are going to invite the private institutions and give them a chance to pick from those who passed but we didn’t take,” Mr Mugerwa said in an interview.
However, Dr Safina Musene, the commissioner of Business and Technical Education, yesterday said they had not concluded admission of candidates with Senior Six results who would like to pursue diploma in nursing.
Once the process is complete, they will join another 1,500 nursing students who applied to upgrade from their nursing certificate qualifications.
“The competition is too high. We are getting many applicants and I have been warning people against paying any money for interviews because it is free,” Dr Musene said.
There are 87 private institutions and the ministry officials put the number of certificate applicants to 8,500.
For one to be admitted to the nursing and midwifery course, they must have passed Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics and English subjects with a pass eight (8) at Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) level.
However, those candidates who fail Physics, the ministry can substitute it with at least a pass in Agriculture and Geography to be admitted to any of the 11 government-aided nursing institutions.
But Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examinations Board chairperson Mariam Walusimbi early this month asked government to review the entry requirements to Nursing and Midwifery programmes to a minimum of credits in all the required subjects at Ordinary Level.
She also wants students using Senior Six results to have scored at least principal passes in sciences.
“The nursing and midwifery profession affects life of human beings in the most vulnerable state and any skills gap may cause loss of life. The board proposes the Ministry of Education considers review of entry requirements to credits,” Ms Walusimbi presented as the board released last year’s nurses and midwives results in Kampala.
She appealed to government to upgrade health centre IVs to expand practicum areas for the increasing number of nursing students.
According to Ms Walusimbi, there is also need for the ministry to revisit the Diploma in Pediatric and Child Health nursing and Diploma in Public Health nursing programmes which continue to attract less than five students annually yet they are essential health ingredients.
Dr Musene warned institutions against double intakes saying they will not register the students if their individual schools lack enough training equipment.
On the attitude complaints that have been raised against the nursing profession, Mr Mugerwa noted that the ministry had introduced life skills in the curriculum to address the entrepreneurial and customer care gaps, complaints that they have received from the public about the profession in the past few years.