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QUICKLINKS : CHAT RULES / PINOYBSN FORUM

Cheating

Cheating

By Conrado de Quiros
Inquirer

Published on page A10 of the October 10, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

PANFILO LACSON says Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo does right to blow hot and cold on the issue of whether this year’s prospective nurses should retake the licensure exams or not. “It is a rare but welcome sign of good judgment on the part of Malacañang to stay on the side of prudence on the matter.”

Aquilino Pimentel says the opposite: “The President’s flip-flopping on the issue of the retake of the exam smacks of her wishy-washy approach in resolving controversies and her insensitivity to the ordeals of the nursing graduates whose future in their chosen career is now in limbo. Yesterday, she wanted to annul the exam. Today, she hedges. That is exactly what we see in her administration.”

They both miss the point.

Of course, the candidates ought to retake the exams. I argued this point the last time around. I agreed completely with the officials of University of Santo Tomas who had been heroically pushing for this course of action despite much adverse opinion, notably from the examinees themselves. Quite simply, the good outweighs the bad, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I can understand how those who passed the exams honestly would feel personally cheated at being made to take them all over again, if not indeed robbed of precious time and resources. But what choice is there? To not retake the exams is to bring the stigma of being a cheat, or the suspicion of it, on one’s head for the rest of one’s life. With the most devastating consequences for one’s future. No one will want to hire you anyway under those conditions, other than at exploitative rates.

Having just come from the United States, which is where many of the examinees dream of going, I do have some idea of the impact the news of the tainted licensure exams has had there. The Filipino community is monumentally dismayed by it. And what is monumental dismay to the Filipino community can easily be monumental distrust to the American hospitals. The successful examinees don’t retake the test, they will have their applications for work abroad scrutinized by their prospective employers more ferociously than their applications for visas by the US and British embassies.

That is so in particular in light of recent revelations that the cheating was more widespread than originally supposed. Indeed, widespread in more ways than one: It didn’t just occur as well in other parts of the country, like the cities of Tacloban and Davao, it occurred not just in a couple of sets in the five-set exam but in pretty much all of it. No one who has taken this exam, successfully or not, will ever be able to shed off the odor of scandal that suffuses it. In the end, the cost of “passing” this exam will be far more onerous than anyone of them can bear.

But which behooves the authorities to exert themselves to make sure that the culprits are truly caught and jailed for being the criminals that they are. They have not just robbed people, many of them from poor families, of their meager resources, they have robbed them of an even more meager future. This may not be a case where the innocent are rewarded or even spared, but must be a case where the guilty are punished and made an example of. We owe it to those who have been deeply harmed by this to do so.

As to Pimentel’s point, of course, Arroyo has been flip-flopping, and of course that is what her administration has always been. Unless the issue has to do with her, in which case she acts with iron resolve: She bashes the heads of her enemies. But whether Arroyo has a tendency to flip-flop or act purposefully is not the issue here. The issue here, which stares us right in the face, is the breathtaking irony of Arroyo even thinking to want to intervene in this scandal. Indeed, saying that this thing has got to be dealt with because the honor and integrity of the country, if not the remittances of the new entrants to the overseas Filipino workforce, are at stake.

What is this a case of? This is a case of massive cheating. This is a case of people, in whose hands will be left the care of the sick and helpless, proposing to do so without (at least for those who did cheat) having the qualifications for it. Never mind the honor and integrity of the country, think of the poor bastards who will be placed under their tender mercies.

Well, what was the last presidential election all about? It was a case of massive cheating. It was a case of someone in whose hands would be left the care of a sick and dying country proposing to hurry it up to its grave. Never mind the nurses who might not add to the remittances Pidal means to loot because of the flawed exams. Mind only the 85 million or so Filipinos whose lives have just been made hell.

Can anything be more hysterically funny, or a brilliant if unwitting exercise in self-satire, than Arroyo telling the prospective nurses they have to take the exams again because many of them cheated in the last one? The same reasons for requiring new exams are the same reasons for requiring new elections. No, they are more than the same reasons. Far, far more. The stakes in elections are higher. The price to pay for cheating in elections is steeper. If this country cannot survive the reputation of having fake nurses, it will survive even less the reality of having a fake president.

I agree with all the reasons Prospero Pichay, Eduardo Ermita and Arroyo herself have trotted out for new exams. I agree that the honor, integrity and sanctity of the nation are at stake. I agree that it is necessary, urgent and pressing. Cheating impairs everything that is good and just in a country. The nurses must take the exams again.

We must vote for president again.

FROM: http://opinion.inq7.net/inquireropinion/columns/view_article.php?article_id=25771

ASKING THE EXAMINEES TO TAKE THE EXAMS AGAIN IS NOT FOR THE GREATER GOOD.... BECUASE IN NO WAY A GREATER GOOD CAN BE JUSTIFIED BY A GREATER INJUSTICE....

ARROYO IS ACCUSED OF CHEATING... DO PEOPLE CHASE AFTER HER SUPPORTERS IN THE CABINET OR SENATE? DID THEY CHASE AFER THOSE WHO GUARDED THE BALLOTS IN AREAS WHERE SUSPECTED BALLOT TAMPERING HAPPENED? ARE THEY THREATENING THE VOTERS WHO WERE IN FAVOR OF HER?...
NO!

BOARD MEMBERS AND REVIEW CENTERS ARE THE ONES WHO PERPETRATED THIS SCANDAL.... WHY ARE THEY ASKING STUDENTS TO RETAKE THE EXAMS? WHY ARE WE THE ONES SUFFERING THE BRUNT OF THIS SCANDAL? INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE MARRED BY THIS INJUSTICE...

IS AN ALLEGED CHEATING IN THE NATIONAL ELECTIONS EASIER TO SWALLOW THAN AN ALLEGED NATIONWIDE LEAK IN A BOARD EXAM?

The conclusion in favor of retake is UNFAIR IF NOT OUTRIGHT WRONG because it refuses to consider the fact that the passers passed 390 remaining valid exam questions, more numerous than the first 60 graded questions in NCLEX that if answered correctly enough will declare the examinee an automatic passer. To say that PRC's remaining 390 questions are NO MATCH to NCLEX's first 60 graded questions is the height of COLONIAL MENTALITY--which insults all prior, present, and future PRC exam takers, including complaining nursing deans and teachers.

The conclusion did not consider the situation that if incompetence has to be ascribed, it should be on the 25,000 non-passers, including examinee-complainants themselves who did not pass.

In the case of the 17,000 passers, they passed 390 valid questions but their answers on 110 leaked questions were discarded as the leaked questions were purged. Therefore, it simply means that we have a situation with a case of DOUBT--which calls for SUSPENDED SENTENCE, not to say a decision resolving the doubt in favor of passers accused of incompetence--the passers MAY or may NOT be INCOMPETENT on the invalidated questions, nobody among non-examinees knows for sure. But it is not right to go prematurely to the negative side and prejudge them as incompetent. Because they passed the 390 valid questions which 25,000 others did not, then the more logical conclusion is that they are competent. So there should be no stigma. The stigma came from those who should have protected the rights of the passers but did not, and instead did the opposite. If Filipinos themselves are putting down the passers, of course foreigners will believe because we are supposed to know more than they do. Retake proponents seem to have created a mob against passers, then invoked the mob as ground for retake!

On the matter of retake of test 3, there are valid grounds for not including it in the retake. But if these grounds will be ignored, those who will ignore them may find themselves having to explain them just the same before the Supreme Court if the passers will question before it the intended Executive Order, especially in the light of a pending case in the Court of Appeals. If that happens, instead of fast tracking the retake, the EO may derail it because of a court case that is beyond the power of the Executive Branch to decide.

Worst case, however, if test 3 has to be retaken, have the retake proponents lost their SENSE OF BALANCE, their logical and commom-sense reasoning, that they want a total retake of the 100-question test 3 instead of just 20 QUESTIONS?

Why have the tail wag the dog? Why have a measly 20 leaked questions destroy the efficacy of test 3, instead of the more numerous 80 valid questions sustaining its validity?

The passers have earned vested rights on the 80 valid questions that they passed, why take their rights away from them? Human rights violations that involved the taking away of many lives prospered because done generally in secret--will the taking of the passers' rights prosper now even if done in broad day light before a watching nation and world?


MARCELO TECSON

Bravo to the first two posters !!!

No reelection equals no retake!

For test 3, yeah, bakit nga ba kung ipagpipilitan ng mga tunggak ang retake nito ay bakit hindi 20 questions lang na kapalit ng may leakage ang ipa-retake?

Dahil gusto nila na pati complaining flunkers at non-passing honor graduates ng UST ay magkaroon ng second chance dito--at walang second chance kung 20 questions lang ang retake? Buking na naman kayo, he, he, he !!!

Mr. Conrado de Quiros, I think you're the one who missed the point.

"The stigma, the integrity & sanctity of the nation is at stake?"

When where you last in the Philippines? Because we lost all that back in the 70's & never ever regained it.

You're out of reality mister.

CBP

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