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CA asked to reconsider nursing board ruling

CA asked to reconsider nursing board ruling
By Tetch TorresINQ7.netLast updated 04:38pm (Mla time) 10/16/2006

GROUPS advocating a total retake of the June nursing licensure examinations last June asked the Court of Appeals (CA) on Monday to reconsider its ruling for 1,697 nursing graduates to undergo a partial retake of the leak-tainted board exam.

The 15-page motion for reconsideration filed by Rene Luis Tadle, president of the University of Sto. Tomas Faculty of Nursing, the League of Concerned Nursing and the Binuklod na Samahan ng mga Student Nurses called the appellate court’s decision “partly unacceptable” because it supposedly does not directly address the issue of the leakage of test questions.

Lawyer Pia Bersamin said her clients are happy the CA nullified Resolution 31 of the Professional Regulation Commission, which invalidated 20 of the 100 questions of Test 3 and ordered a recomputation of Test 5, the portions of the nursing board exam the questions to which were leaked.
"By removing the effect of the now annulled Resolution 31, the 'unaltered' result (of the exam) was reinstated, along with the leaked questions,” the motion said.

But, it added, “the leakage problem was not solved. If the effect of the leakage remained in the Nursing Licensure Examination, the integrity of the examination remains in question."
It added that limiting the partial retake to only 1,687 examinees “defeats the right to equal protection of laws of the other examinees in the same situation."

Bersamin said they were standing by their position that there should be a nationwide retake of the June board exam.

A nursing graduate, Dennis Bautista, also went to the CA to protest its ruling, saying it erred in ordering the partial retake for only 1,687 examinees.

Bautista contended there should be more since more than 2,000 nursing graduates attended the coaching session of the R. Gapuz Review Center, more than 1,000 attended that of the Inress Review Center, and the coaching sessions of Pentagon were held twice at the Aliw theatre.
It was during these sessions that the test questions were allegedly leaked.

Hoy Mr. Tadle and Mr. Bautista, magtago na kayo at sa sobrang pahirap ninyo sa mga board passers, i wont be surprised if one day you'll end up dead. Kaya kung ako sa inyo magdahan-dahan na kayo kasi nag aalburoto na ang galit nang mga tao sa inyo.




Maganda ang pagtawag ni DOLE SEC.Atty Brion ng meeting, para matapos na itong sigalot na ito. Hindi naman mapipigilan ang UST sa paghain ng MR para pag nagdesisyon laban sa kanila ay maaring di na sila pupunta ng SC. Sana. Sa MR nila ang dapat nilang patunayan na widespread ang leakage at iyan ang ginagawa nila. Kaya si Dennis may 5 witness na naman para sa test 1 and 2 at sa VISMIN pa daw. Nasaktan sila ng sinabi ng korte na hindi widespreadIto ang key word kaya sa MR nila ipipilit nila ito. Ayaw nila yong oath taking, tapos isa isang patunayan. Ngayon doon sa 1,687 talagang muntik na kayong sinuwerte pero tugma rin ito sa desisyon ng CA na hindi widespread kaya di dapat baguhin ang orihinal na resulta, yong walang IBE formula. Bukod doon kawawa naman yong natanggal na 1200 plus. Kaya ipagdasal niniyo na hindi nga widespread. Marunong ang CA kasi mula rito binalewala nila ang pananakot ni Mr. Ang et al sa stigma. Sabi ng CA na hindi sila ang tamang lapitan sa kredibilidad ng mga nakapasa, Sila kung ano lamang ang ebidensya.

Whether widespread or not, the leakage should not matter. Why?

There are two issues why retake is demanded by retake proponents:

The first issue is COMPETENCE of the passers, so let us take a look at it.

Case 1. The review center dished out some 1,000 questions without leakage. Some examinees passed, others did not. Are the passers incompetent? Of course not.

Case 2. The review center lectured some 1,000 questions, with some 20 or 90 questions as leakage. At the time of coaching, nobody--repeat NOBODY, including subsequent complainants--among the examinees knew for certain that some questions were in fact leakage. Some examinees passed, others did not. Are the passers incompetent?
The retake and no-retake proponents are sharply divided on the matter.

In this case, we do not have an ideal situation--that without leakage--to go by, but based on the circumstances, there are still other ways of determining the passers' COMPETENCE. Stated differently, based on available other information that should not be ignored, there is no conclusive basis for saying that the passers are INCOMPETENT. Therefore, the passers should be given the benefit of the doubt and their rights respected.

What are the other means then of establishing the passers' competence?

First, and this is what everybody for retake refuses to recognize, THIS IS WHAT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND COMPLAINANTS FOR RETAKE NEVER REFUTED--that there were 390 clean and valid exam questions left, the passing of which is enough to show the competence of 17,000 passers--the lack of which is shown by 25,000 others who did not make it. This total number of clean questions is much more than the first 60 graded questions of NCLEX that can make an examinee pass. Of course, Dr. Dante Ang retorted that, in which case, then abolish the PRC exams if we will rely on other exams. The answer to that response is, then abolish also the final exams and issuance of diplomas by UP, UE, UST, etc. if we will still rely on PRC exams to determine the graduates' competence.

The point is, there is a number of evidence--not just one--that establishes the pattern of examinees' competence for hiring purposes--that each one of the means is just part of an integrated whole. For example, why do NCLEX administrators admit Filipino nurse examinees even WITHOUT PRC license? (Yes, they do.) The answer is, they rely on the examinees' passing the nursing course as shown by their transcript of records and other documents. Unless the retake proponents can destroy the efficacy of the limited-question NCLEX system, they have no business foisting their own limitations upon the nation in the determination of the 17,000 passers competence!

Second, when the examinees received coaching on a thousand questions, including the leaked questions, there was no distinction to them as to leaked and not leaked questions--because, as stated, nobody knew for sure which were clean and unclean questions BEFORE the exam. And what is important is, the competent among the examinees learned, or imbibed, the knowledge coached to them. Only the competent can do that--as borne by complaining examinees who, despite the leakage, did not pass! They--the complaining non-passsers with leakage--are the best proof that the leakage was not enough to make the less competent pass!!! So they have no right to pass insulting judgment of incompetence and need for retake on passers who performed better than them. The passers should be judged by at least their equal, not by non-passing complainants, for obvious reasons. Thus, passers may have imbibed knowledge through FAIR and FOUL means--but that is not their fault, and they should not be harassed and punished for it. It is the fault of erring examiners and reviewers, as well as of a reactionary government who would not regulate review centers unless something bad happens--thereby failing to protect innocent examinees against unscrupulous reviewers and examiners. However, what counts in the issue of COMPETENCE is: the passers imbibed the expertise coached to them as shown by their passing the exam!!!!! In other words, there should be no issue on competence, because some of them might have learned by means FAIR and FOUL through no fault of their own, all right--but they LEARNED, they became competent, and they passed the exam, which 25,000 others failed to hurdle!!!

The issue then, if at all, is integrity or DISHONOR. But how could dishonor be imputed to them? As stated, the suspected culprits are examiners and review centers, plus the government that did not think of instituting preventive measures before the scandal--but not the examinees who paid thousands of pesos to receive honest coaching, not leakage, and should not be held responsible for the evil acts of others and for the failure of the government to protect them. Should they refuse the coaching that they paid for? On the other hand, after the exams, because they know that they reviewed hard for the exam, that they would have passed with or without leakage, why should they sacrifice themselves when what they need to do for the more urgent task of economic survival is to look for work and go on with their lives. Why should they worry about recruiters and hospitals when they are veterans in the business and can take care of themselves, they know what they are doing, they are not babes in the woods, they are not out of their minds to accept nurse applicants on the basis solely of their having PRC licenses. Morally, it may be the passers' obligation to care, but our government should not rely on them. It should rely on its government officials to do not just their moral but also MANDATED DUTY to protect the nation's young examinees from wrongdoers with or without experiencing exam scandal. For example, is the government so blind and inept that it did not see the need to regulate review centers before the scandal--such as on possible overpricing in fees as well as too much number of reviewees per classroom?

The government should wake up and start protecting 17,000 passers instead of harassing them. The least that it can do if it is not high handed is is to refute the grounds for no-retake that I emailed to the Office of the President and others concerned, including the herein points, if it will continue to stubbornly think of retake. When the government ignored my request for its REFUTATION of the GROUNDS FOR NO-RETAKE--it ignored not just me but also the 17,000 passers and their families, friends, supporters, and sympathizers.

As I stated then, I am not recommending no-retake, I am just asking the government, which ignored the grounds for no-retake when it previously order retake, to tell the public why it brushed aside the arguments for no-retake by not mentioning these at all in the explanation of its previous order to retake. I have not yet received the answer, there is still no explanation to the public--yet the government still clings to the need for retake even after the CA decision was issued. For the government's lack of transparency, many still doubt the propriety of its continuing retake stance.

October 17, 2006

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