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Passers, flunkers want a retake

Passers, flunkers want a retake

(Continued from Sunday)

http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2006/sept/25/yehey/top_stories/20060925top6.html

That same day, “the petitioners who met with the board [Erfe, Tingda, Palaganas, Lacanaria and Daoayen managed “to obtain a copy of the commission’s Resolution 2006-345, series of 2006, entitled “Approving the Report, Dated July 12, 2006, of the Fact-Finding Committee Created Under Office Order 2006-161 and Adopting the Recommendations Made Therein and for Other Purposes.”

This resolution states that the board was doing something to “remove the edge enjoyed by examinees” who profited from the leakage.

It says, among other things, that “to remove the edge enjoyed by the examinees who got copies of the handwritten notes over the other examinees, the 25 questions in Test 3 (Nursing Practice 3) which were leaked from the test questions prepared by Mrs. Madeja be invalidated and excluded from the correction and computation of the scores of the examinees.”

It also demands the nullification of “the results of the examination in Test 5 (Nursing Practice 5) of those examinees who may have benefited from the handwritten notes leaked from the test questions provided by Mrs. Dionisio based on statistical improbability and clustering of scores which will be established during the conduct of compliance testing.”

Later, Dr. Eufemia Octaviano, the board chairman, gave “official pronouncements to the media that 20 items in Test 3 and 90 questions of Test 5 were disregarded” in determining the examinees’ test scores. Her words were consistent with the Commission’s Resolution 2006-345 and what the board members had told Erfe, Tingda, Palaganas, Lacanaria and Daoayen at their July 20 meeting.

But unexpectedly—the Court of Appeals petition now narrates—“the respondent board released Resolution 31 dated July 17, 2006, explaining how the leaked questions were regarded.”

“However, acting without or in excess or jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion, the board applied a statistical treatment that watered down the leakage by adopting the following formula:

where S1 stands for Score in Test 1, S2 for Score in Test 2 and so forth and so on.”

[Editor’s note to help arithmetically challenged readers: Average 1 is the sum of S1 + S2 + S3 + S4 divided by 4 (because 4 test scores were reckoned. Average 2 is the sum of S1 + S2 + S3 + S4 + S5 divided by 5 because 5 test scores were reckoned. Then the Final Grade of Test 5 is the sum of Ave. 1 and Ave. 2 divided by 2 (because 2 averages were reckoned.]

The commission “acting without or in excess of jurisdiction amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction,” approved the Board of Nursing resolution.

The petition to the Court of Appeals in its statement of facts No. 17 says: “Petitioners now cannot ascertain whether or not 90 leaked questions in Test 5 were disregarded as earlier announced by the board and contained in commission Resolution 2006-345 or toned down as alleged in Board Resolution 31.”

“18. In the said resolution, the board concluded that based on statistical findings, the leakage was not widespread.

“Then, despite that finding of ‘no widespread leakage’ the board manipulated the scores for Test 5, arbitrarily assigning points to it from the other subject areas. In effect petitioning examinees and the classes they represent were twice prejudiced by their low scores in the other tests.”

“20. Petitioning examinees did not benefit from the leakage. Had the respondents not manipulated their scores adopting the formula, their averages would have been higher considering that Test 5 was the easiest to hurdle among all the tests. There is a possibility that the failing petitioners would have passed the examination.

“21. Resolution No. 31, series of 2006, was issued on the premise that 20 question of Test 3 and 90 questions of Test 5 were leaked.

“22. Contrary to the claim of the respondents, however, the evidences in their hands on which they based their findings establish that all of the 100 questions in Test 5 were leaked and not just 90. The board and the commission through their chairmen were forced to publicly acknowledge this.

“23. On the other hand, 25 and not just 20 questions of Test 3 were leaked. The latter conclusion is bolstered by none other than the Commission Resolution No. 2006-345 (Annex “G”) which stated:

‘a) That to remove the edge enjoyed by the examinees who got copies of the handwritten notes over the other examinees, the twenty-five (25) questions in Test 3 (Nursing Practice 3) which were leaked from the test questions prepared by Mrs. Madeja be invalidated and excluded from the correction and computation of the scores of the examinees;’ (Emphasis supplied).

“24. The issuance by the board of Resolution No. 31, series of 2006 which was based on false premises, and the approval thereof by the Commission, were clearly done with unprecedented recklessness and without due regard for facts. There is no debate that both respondents acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion.

“25. Notwithstanding the fact that several issues remained unsettled, respondents scheduled the oath-taking of the passers under their questionable formula on August 22, 2006. Several nursing organizations and leaders of the academe appealed to the commission to hold in abeyance the oath-taking until and after all the questions coming from the public were settled. The commission and the board relented. Officially, they announced that the August 22 oath-taking was postponed.

“The Philippine Senate, exercising its implied power of conducting inquiries in aid of legislation, scheduled the issue of the leakage for investigation.

“Apparently to overtake or to render moot any action of the legislative branch on the fraud-attended examination, the commission, acting without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion, announced that the August 22 oath-taking would proceed as scheduled.

“As soon as the Senate terminated its first inquiry into the leakage, the commission issued a memorandum to all its regional directors to administer oaths starting August 17, 2006, suddenly reversing its original announcement that the oath-taking would be held on August 22, 2006. A copy of the commission memorandum is hereto appended as Annex “H” and made to form an integral part hereof.

“30. As a result of the commission’s announcement, more than 2,000 examinees who passed by virtue of Resolution No. 31, series of 2006 took their oaths before respondents and/or were issued their professional licenses. Unfortunately, this Honorable Court issued a temporary restraining order commanding respondents to cease and desist from administering the oaths of the passers of the June 2006 licensure examination for nurses.

“On August 20, 2006, respondents, again, acting without or in excess of jurisdiction amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, organized on the fourth floor of the commission’s office a gathering of examinees who are on the list of passers of the fraud-plagued June 2006 licensure examination. The gathering was for the purpose of launching a signature campaign among the ‘passers’ to oppose moves by concerned sectors for the readministration of Tests 3 and 5.

“The above acts of respondents were a blunt violation of their mandates under existing laws. The commission, under Republic Act 8981, exists for the purpose of promoting the sustained development of a reservoir of professionals whose competence has been determined by honest and credible licensure examinations and whose standards of professional service and practice are internationally recognized and world class brought about by regulatory measures, programs and activities that foster professional growth and advancement. On the other hand, the board exists under Republic Act 9173 to protect the advancement of the nursing profession by instituting measures that will result in, among others, better career prospects and a dignified competence for nurses. They therefore have no authority to submit the question of competence of the examinees to a game of numbers. The only course of action left to them by the laws is to invalidate Tests 3 and 5 and readminister the same.

“On Friday, September 15, 2006, the commission’s chairman Leonor Tripon-Rosero, acting without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion, announced on national television that those who passed the June 2006 licensure examinations may take their oath before any government official authorized to administer oaths. This she did in spite of the fact that a temporary restraining order against it restraining it from administering the oaths of the examinees whom respondents deem to have passed under their questionable formula as contained in the assailed Resolution No. 31, series of 2006, remains in effect.

“All the actions of respondents in relation to the anomaly served not to allay the fears and doubts of the public on the competence of the examinees whose names were included on the ‘Passed’ list of the commission. On the contrary, respondents’ suspicious acts only bolstered public perception that the competence of the June 2006 nursing board examinees was not adequately measured.

“Because the competence of the examinees included on the list of passers of respondents was put under a cloud, possible employers—both domestic and foreign—announced that they would not be hiring any nurse who became so by passing the June 2006 licensure examination. Even the public, the ultimate consumers of the health service provided by nursing professionals, is very wary of the passers of the June 2006 board examination.

Petitioning examinees who are on the list of passers as determined by the respondents are prejudiced by the question on their competence generated by the latter’s mishandling of the leakage issue. Along with petitioning nurses, they consider it unjust and painful for those who did not benefit from the leakage to be asked to retake Tests 3 and 5.

“Nevertheless, they believe that to deny them the right to retake is to deny them a professional license that establishes their competence as nurses and guarantees their employability. The only choice available to them is to retake the spoiled portions of the examination—Tests 3 and 5—if only to demolish effectively the stigma affecting them and which renders them unemployable.

“Petitioning examinees on the respondents’ list of failing takers are also prejudiced by the anomalous and erroneous statistical treatment applied to compute their scores. As they did not benefit from the leakage, their scores should not have been manipulated along with those of the examinees who did. The action of respondents was not consistent with Commission Resolution No. 2006-345 which provided that the ‘results of the examination in Test 5… of those examinees who may have benefited from the handwritten notes leaked from the test questions provided by Mrs. Dionisio…be nullified.’ Had their scores in Test 5 been computed as they did not benefit from the fraud, there is a great possibility that they may have passed the examination.

“Petitioning nurses are also similarly prejudiced. The scandal that hounded the licensure examination has considerably tainted the integrity of the profession. As concerned nurses, they sincerely desire to rehabilitate the smeared image of their profession, a task made very difficult by the incompetence demonstrated by respondents in dealing with the fraud.

“The issues arising from the leakage scandal require extremely urgent action but Petitioners have no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy available to them in the ordinary course of law. They are thus constrained to file the instant petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

(Concluded tomorrow)

FROM: http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2006/sept/25/yehey/top_stories/20060925top6.html

They want retake, what is the problem? Nobody is stopping them.

PRC has allowed voluntary retake, so go ahead. Good luck to all of you. And we will look for your names in the list of passers in the next board exam. So start undergoing the same ordeal of studying very hard up to past midnight, reviewing in the best review school like UP--wala naman sila nito, at sa UE o UST--tumatanggap ba sila ng taga labas?

Wala munang movies at parties at TV at pasyal at pahinga, dahil hindi biro-biro ang tunay na review. Don't forget the exam fee. And remember, kung bago ang BON, yang mga bagong examiners, normally sa umpisa ay mahihirap ang mga tanong niyan, at masasabak kayo sa umpisa--he, he, he....

to ERFE and company, sige pangunahan niyo ang retake, pero kayo lang, wag niyo kami pilitin lahat, buti sana kung kayo ang maghahanap ng tutuluyan namin sa manila, ang sasagot nmg pagkain namin, ang magpaplantsa ng uni4rm na isusuot namin, ang gagastos sa pamasahe namin, how dare you!

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!


CHERYL L. DAYTEC-YAÑGOT
Counsel for the “Baguio Braves” who exposed the leakage
St. Louis University, Baguio City
E-mail address: chytdaytec@gmail.com

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