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Cheating in licensure exams is economic sabotage

Cheating in licensure exams is economic sabotage


Published on page A12 of the October 10, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

I DISAGREE with the President’s decision on the retake of the June 2006 nursing board examinations for the following reasons:

1) It has been proven that the leaked test questions circulated only among those who took the exams in Baguio City and Metro Manila;

2) The leaked questions only came from two sections of the exams;

3) The passing or failing grades of examinees can still be evaluated even without the retake of the exams;

Under the circumstances, why punish all the examinees when not all of them benefited from or could be blamed for the leakage? Why punish Visayas and Mindanao examinees who were unaware of it?

Besides, we should not lose sight of the reason government licensure exams are administered. A government licensure exam is meant to determine whether or not the examinees have the minimum amount of knowledge required for the practice of a particular regulated profession.

The examinees are graduates of nursing schools all licensed by the government. In other words, these examinees are guaranteed by government-licensed schools that they have the minimum amount of knowledge required by the government for the practice of the nursing profession.

If these nursing schools were not competent to make this guarantee, the government would have revoked their licenses to operate as nursing schools. But the graduates of duly licensed nursing schools must be given the benefit of the doubt in this case.

So, what should be done in this case?

1. Disregard the leaked sections but uphold the results of the uncompromised sections. Distribute the weight of the leaked sections to the other upheld sections. Or simply base the passing percentage on the point total of the uncompromised sections (i.e., same passing percentage but using a new denominator);

2. The examinees are not the ones to be punished. Punish those responsible for the leakage! And I suggest that we make cheating in government licensure examinations a crime tantamount to economic sabotage, given the financial hardships that a retake is surely to impose on the families of the examinees.

AQUILINO “KOKO” PIMENTEL III, Suite 2106, Atlanta Center, No. 31 Annapolis St., Greenhills, San Juan, 1503 Metro Manila


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