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Nursing exam retake pushed

Nursing exam retake pushed

By Sheila Crisostomo
The Philippine Star 08/20/2006

Various groups are strongly urging the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Board of Nursing to conduct new licensure examinations in the wake of allegations that the last one in June was marred by cheating.

They particularly want a retake of the two parts of the test that were allegedly leaked to examinees.

Fely Marilyn Lorenzo, executive director of the University of the Philippines’ Institute of Health and Policy and Development (IHPD), said the results of tests 3 and 5 of the exams must be nullified.

"We’ll not be able to come out with a really meaningful solution if the examinees will not retake test 3 and test 5. We cannot come half-clean," she told The STAR.

Aside from IHPD, the position is being pushed by the Association of Deans of Philippine Colleges of Nursing, concerned students and nurses’ organizations, among other groups.

Lorenzo was the chairman of the Commission on Higher Education-Technical Committee on Nursing Education, whose officials resigned en masse last month because of the failure of the commission to act on their recommendations to reform the nursing profession.

About 20 percent of test 3 and 90 percent of test 5 were reportedly leaked to examinees prior to the examination held last June 11 and 12. Each of the five-part test had 100 questions.

To resolve the issue, the PRC had invalidated the leaked questions and adjusted the computation of the scores.

But Lorenzo argued that the measure was not enough to guarantee the integrity of the licensure examination.

"If you are good in math, it doesn’t mean that you are also good in psychiatry. So for us, there is a need to retake Test 3 and 5," she said.

Those who passed the examinations given last June should have no worries about taking the two tests again, Lorenzo pointed out. "If they passed already, they should be secure in the fact that they can also pass a second one," she said.

The IHPD and other groups will submit their joint position paper to Malacañang and to the Commission of Filipino Overseas, which was tasked to get testing centers of the National Council Licensure Examination established in the Philippines.

Lorenzo has assailed the PRC for allegedly erring thrice in dealing with the leakage issue.

First, she maintained, the commission should have not released the results of the examination pending the results of an investigation of the anomaly being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation.

She added the PRC should also have not scheduled a retake of the entire June examination in December although this is only on the examinees’ own volition.

"The PRC should have also not rushed in administering the oath-taking of the passers because the leakage is still under investigation. I can’t understand why they are in a rush," Lorenzo said.

She appealed to examinees to wait for the investigation to be completed.

"Be patient. This is an unfortunate incident that no one wanted. But we hope they will understand that we need to ferret out the truth. The investigation must be completed so that the actions — whether punishment of the guilty and acquittal of the innocent — can be done," she said. "We have to do this as fast as we can because there is another licensure examination in December. But please we want them (examinees) to cooperate with us because the cleanup will benefit them as well." ‘It’s not me’
The NBI has summoned one dean, Carmelita Divinagracia, of the University of the East-Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center’s college of nursing (not Far Eastern University’s college of nursing as earlier reported), for questioning.

She was reportedly among 22 deans who attended an "enhancement review class" at an SM Manila theater where the questions were given in advance to examinees. The questions were flashed on the movie screen with a Powerpoint presentation.

Divinagracia denied yesterday that she was there at the theater.

"It does not mean that just because I am being summoned, I am one of the 22 deans being implicated in the leakage. The NBI would only ask me if I have any knowledge or evidence on the 22 deans because I am the president of the Association of Deans of Philippine Colleges of Nursing," Divinagracia told The STAR.

"How can I be one of the 22 deans, when I am in fact the No. 1 enemy of former Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) president George Cordero because we often have differences of opinion on the kind of quality of nursing education in the country. I am pushing for the clean slate in the nursing board examination."

Cordero, who resigned from his post from the PNA last Thursday, allegedly gave the leaked questions to examinees at the theater. He has refused to comment on the allegations without first consulting a lawyer.

Supervising agent Martini Cruz of the NBI-Anti-Fraud and Computer Crimes Division said that they have arranged a meeting with Divinagracia sometime next week because "we learned that she has some privilege information that could help us uncover the truth on the 22 deans."

The NBI was asked by the PRC to investigate the scandal.

For the past two years, the CHED had failed to act on its technical committee’s recommendation to shut down the low-performing nursing schools.

Last Friday, the Court of Appeals stopped the scheduled oath-taking of new nurses who passed the licensure examinations because of a petition filed by three groups also seeking a retake of the two scandal-marred tests of the five-part examination.

In a resolution penned by Associate Justice Vicente Veloso, the court’s special third division issued a 60-day temporary restraining order on the PRC and the Board of Nursing and barred the oath-taking, which is scheduled on Tuesday.

The scandal resulted in Cordero’s resignation last Thursday following allegations that he leaked the exam questions mostly to examinees from two review centers, including one that he owns, and a school that he also runs.

PRC Commissioner Avelina de la Rea said the oath-taking was valid from their viewpoint. "But we still don’t know the legal implications of the wordings in the temporary restraining order," she said.

The court order stemmed from a petition filed by faculty members of the University of Sto. Tomas and two nursing associations, the League of Concerned Nurses and the Binuklod na Samahan ng mga Student Nurse.

They said the PRC and the nursing board should protect the integrity and competence of the profession "by ensuring that only those who have qualified in appropriate examinations are allowed into the profession."

UST faculty members protested the decision of the PRC and the board to include the scores in two leaked portions of the examinations in computing the examinees’ overall scores "although the resolution invalidated portions of the nursing examinations given on June 11-12, 2006, due to the leakage."

The petitioners met with the officials of the board and the PRC on July 21 to lodge their objections.

FROM: The Philippine Star

HAHAHAHA We, the June 2006 NLE Passers, will eventually have the last laugh after all these pro-retake groups' effort has been exhausted. The PRC and DOJ Secretary Raul Gonzales Sr. are on our side, and Malacañang doesn't seem to want to intervene in the issue bec. their "assessment is that the situation is under control" by the PRC :D I guess we have these facts to lean on. Everything will come out positive in the end. Yahoo!!!

HaHaHa!!!! to all june 2006 NLE passers!!! im pretty much sure that you will never get your last laugh!!!

to the 2nd poser: dream on! cant get enough of failing?! hahahahah

lol! ur absolutely ryt! hey now hey now.. dont dream ITS OVER.. wakekekek

to the second poser ..... bumagsak ka nga siguro? o baka naman bayaran ka? o baka naman isa ksa sa mga freshmen, sophomore at juniors na nag rally sa harap ng prc para sa pro retake? siguro nga, hindi mo kasi alam lahat ng hirap na pinag daanan ng mga nag board! ah! oh kaya isa ka sa mga nakakuha ng leak pero bumagsak pa din! hay kawawa ka naman, siguro di pinupulot nyo lang ang pera at hindi alam ang tunay na hirap ng buhay. kawawa ka naman.

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