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Lawmaker: Investigate nursing test leak

Lawmaker: Investigate nursing test leak

AT the very least, those who leaked questions and answers in the nursing licensure examinations in June violated the Antigraft and Corrupt Practices Act, if indeed such an irregularity occurred.

Rep. Joseph Santiago of Catanduanes on Friday asked the Ombudsman to investigate the alleged leakage and ascertain the possible culpability of all government officials and private individuals implicated in the mess.

Besides graft, he said, the guilty parties could be prosecuted for bribery under the Revised Penal Code. “It is quite possible that money changed hands here,” he added.

It is absolutely imperative that the appropriate agencies adopt adequate and immediate corrective steps, Santiago stressed, to discourage future cheats and prevent another leakage.

“Several professional licensure examinations are being conducted even as we speak,” he pointed out.

Following an inquiry, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) dismissed the services of two members of the Nursing Board and filed administrative charges against them.

A leading review center has also been linked to the anomaly. It turned out that the center had obtained advanced copies of test questions and answers on two subjects—medical surgical nursing and psychiatric nursing—and subsequently farmed them out to candidates under its tutelage. The exact questions came out in the examinations.

“It is not enough that the culprits face administrative charges, which do not carry jail terms,” Santiago said. “They should be haled to court as well and face criminal charges.”

He also said investigators should look into allegations that officials tried to cover up the leakage. “History is replete with cases where a cover-up turned out to be far worse than the original offense,” he added.

Santiago also renewed his call for the PRC to decide promptly whether or not to require candidates to retake examinations on the two subjects, in which questions and answers were allegedly leaked.

According to Santiago, requiring candidates to retake certain subjects in a professional eligibility examination is not without precedent.

“In the bar examinations, for instance, the Supreme Court, in one instance, ordered a retake of the test in one or two subjects due to a leakage.” Santiago, who is a lawyer, said, “Sometimes, difficult decisions have to made to preserve the integrity and sanctity of the examination process.”


FROM : THE MANILA TIMES
http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php?news=1573



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