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Cheating in nursing exams

Last updated 08:56am (Mla time) 08/20/2006

Published on page A12 of the August 20, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

IT was a clear case of conflict of interest. George Cordero was the president of the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA), which nominates members of the Board of Nursing (BON), the group that prepares the questions for the nursing board examinations, when the exams were administered on June 11 and 12.

Cordero also happens to be the owner of a school for health sciences, including nursing, and a review center in Manila.

Cheating marred the board exams, with certain questions given to scores of examinees beforehand.

It appears that the review center that “leaked” the questions is Cordero’s Institute for Review and Special Studies (Inress). Nursing graduates who had enrolled at Inress and the R.A. Gapuz Review Center had been furnished a number of questions and answers for Tests III and V before the exams.

At a Senate hearing on Wednesday, a nursing graduate, who took review classes at Inress, spoke of the questions leaked by the review center.

Another examinee claimed that Cordero had boasted that he did not pay P7 million for nothing and that he brought two BON members to Switzerland and paid for the trip, according to the notes that the BON submitted to the Senate.

Amid these allegations, Cordero resigned as PNA president. He has not responded to the allegations.

The controversy has not been settled. The Professional Regulation Commission has given the go-signal for the oath-taking of some 17,000 who passed the board exams. Acting on a petition by a group of students, nurses and school officials, the Court of Appeals stopped on Friday the oath-taking.

The group calls for the nullification of the results, saying that the leakage would cause “irreparable damage” to the country’s “public health” and the prospects of Filipino nurses working abroad.


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