The Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examination Board (UNMEB) has defended the management of St Francis School of Health Sciences, Namataba, Mukono District for blocking some medical trainees from sitting the June Semester examinations.
At least 23 nurses and midwife trainees at the school missed their June Semester examinations, which kicked off last Monday after the school management failed to register them with UNMEB as candidates.
Ms Juliet Twesigye, the principal examinations officer at UNMEB, said the affected students had not completed the curriculum as required.
“Those [students] were their first batch on diploma and they had not completed their curriculum. They had to study for 17 to 22 weeks of six months, but they had taken only four months which is not allowed under the UNMEB regulations," she said in an interview on Monday.
She said students started their courses in March and would sit their exams in December.
“Our team has since visited the school and talked to both the administration and students so that they continue with their curriculum up to December,” Ms Twesigye said.
Mr Geoffrey Kanima, the rector of St Francis School of Health Sciences said the students had been misled to stage a demonstration against the school decision.
“The students were advised to do internal examinations as they prepare for UNMEB exams, but they insisted they wanted to sit the latter this month. We are not going to chase them away despite giving a bad image to the institution," he said.
Ms Twesigye noted that apart from the incident at the institute, exams are going on smoothly at other centres.
This year, a total of 53,169 nurses and midwife trainees registered to do the exams.
Ms Helen Kataratambi, UNMEB executive secretary, said a total of 2005 stakeholders have already been assigned to visit the exam centres in the country majorly to supervise the progress of the ongoing national examinations before next week when practical papers start.
UNMEB is a semi-autonomous government body that was established in December 2005 by the Ministry of Education and Sports with a cardinal objective of streamlining, regulating and coordinating examinations and awards for Nurses and Midwives in Uganda. The board usually conducted two series of exams every year in June and December. But due to Covid-19 pandemic disruptions, the 2021 December exams were conducted in February this year.