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Nurse exam retake frozen

Nurse exam retake frozen

The planned mandatory retake of the June nursing licensure examinations has been put on hold until the Court of Appeals (CA) issues a final decision concerning the cheating scandal, Malacañang announced yesterday.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the scope of the re-examinations would depend on the forthcoming CA ruling on a petition seeking to invalidate the scandal-tainted 2006 nursing board exams.

“We can't make the final action up to extent of the retake and who should retake because we will see how the Court of Appeals’ decision will bear upon such a decision,” Ermita said in an interview with reporters in the Palace.

In explaining the latest government decision, Ermita said the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) had reminded the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) about the pending case in the CA seeking the invalidation and retaking of two leaked subjects in the June tests. The two agencies were earlier ordered by President Arroyo to work out the details of the retake of the nursing board exams, including whether this would be full or partial.

Ermita acknowledged that the government must abide by the judicial process before a retake of the nursing board exams is conducted. “Going by the rule of law, we have to consider that there is such a case in the CA, which could very well bear on the decision on the level of retake,” he said.

The suspension of the mandatory retake came a day after President Arroyo announced that only Tests 3 and 5 of the 2006 nursing test would be covered in the retake of all nursing board examinees before December. The two tests on Medical/Surgical Nursing and Neuro-Psychiatric Nursing were suspected to be plagued with leakages as many review centers obtained copies of test questions a few days before the scheduled exam.

The President had said the retake of the nursing board exams was the “best decision at the moment” to repair the damage done to the reputation and integrity of the Filipino nurses as well as the professional board exams.

In a petition before the CA, the faculty members the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) College of Nursing and several groups of nurses have sought a retake of the examination as they questioned the actions taken by the PRC to cleanse the examination of leaked test questions. Pending its decision on the petition, the appellate court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the August 22 oath-taking of new nurses.

Ermita, meantime, said the President would not back down on her decision for a retake despite protests from some sectors of the medical profession. “We have to consider the integrity of the profession because it will affect other professions domestically and abroad.

Those are the strong ones that bore on the decision of the President to order the retake,” he said.

In Cebu, hundreds of nursing students, nursing licensure exam passers, their parents and representatives of the various medical schools in Cebu City trooped to the Fuente Osmeña oval yesterday morning to air their strong opposition to the proposed retake of the examination.

The board passers also urged President Arroyo to exempt the Cebu passers from retaking the nursing licensure board examination considering that the alleged leakage was found to have been contained in the Luzon area.

Mae Plaza, one of the top-notchers of the recent board exam for nurses, said she will not consider retaking the exam even if the government will shoulder all the expenses that will be incurred.

“Taking the exam is unex-plainably stressful and draining. The government should not make us pay for a crime that we didn’t commit,” said Plaza, whose stand echoes the voices of more than 300 nurses that gathered at the Fuente Osmeña oval yesterday morning. (With a report from Mars Mosqueda)


until now im still not in favor of a retake. not all examinees from the luzon area are culprits of the cheating scandal, sana pag-isipan muna nila ng mabuti kung anong perwisyo at sama ng loob sa mga examinees ang idudulot ng retake na yan.

until im still not in favor of a retake, not all examinees form the luzon area are culprits of the cheating scandal, sana pag-isipan nilang mabuti muna kung anong perwisyo at sama ng loob sa mga examinees ang idudulot niyan, to those fighting for no retake thank you very much.

I believe that GMA and PRC Chair Leonor Tripon-Rosero are acting out a poorly written script.

Just imagine the scene: GMA orders a retake of the leaked portions of the June 2006 board exam for nursing. Immediately, her personal dentist Rosero announces to the nation that she would listen to no one but the court. The always combative GMA lets the comment pass. She does not castigate her dentist who is her alter ego under the PRC Modernization Law. Is this a dream? Where is the GMA who publicly berated Dep Ed Secretary Fe Hidalgo for claiming that our public school system is suffering from acute dearth of classrooms and facilities?

GMA has been soft on the PRC head since day one. The leakage issue was a manageable one, but Rosero’s mishandling caused it to metamorphose into a scandal of international magnitude. It embarrassed the nation. It spawned untold turmoil on the examinees and their families. There is no doubt that Rosero’s head must roll. It should have rolled a long time ago.

But then again, one should not wonder why Hidalgo and Rosero were not similarly treated by GMA. Hidalgo was on the side of truth while Rosero was and still is on the opposite side. We know which side this administration will support as shown by recent events.

And because of the irresoluteness with which the government dealt with fraud and the personalities who started it and who aggravated its impact, we are still on a stalemate. The real victims here, aside from the nursing profession whose integrity has been shattered, are the innocent examinees. Whether it is retake or no retake, there is no “win-win” solution for them. It is unjust to require them to retake an examination where they did not cheat. It is also unjust to prevent a retake because retake is the only option that will result in the elimination of the stigma engendered by PRC’s mismanagement of the mess. A license clouded by doubt on the competence of the holder is a useless one. It will not put food on his/her table, as the employers made loud and clear.

The victims will retake. Some will do it gladly and are thankful for the decision. More will do it grudgingly and may even blame the Cordillera-based whistleblowers- who are actually unsung heroes though not everyone realizes this yet- for instituting the action that called attention to the cheating, the action that challenged this government to take either the side of righteousness or iniquity. These victims cry for what approximates justice- the guilty must be punished - and be punished soon. The PRC officials who exacerbated their woes should go- and go fast!

Counsel for the “Baguio Braves” who exposed the leakage
St. Louis University, Baguio City
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