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Commentary: Retake or no retake?

Commentary: Retake or no retake?
By Renee F. De Guzman

San Fernando City, La Union (9 October) -- How do you solve a complicated problem like the June 2006 nursing board examination scam?

It has been four months now and the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) and Malacanang have yet to come out with a final decision to correct the irregularity in the June 2006 nursing examination.

As the National Bureau of Investigation intensifies its investigation, reports came out that cheating was not limited to Luzon but was nationwide.

The debate on whether the scandal- plagued nursing board examinations should be set again its entirety or partially, just in Luzon or nationwide also continues to mount and whipping nationwide with an intensity of typhoon “Milenyo.”

Adding to the controversy is the different position of Labor secretary Arturo Brion who wants the President to order a retake and the Professional Regulatory Commission officials who rejected a retake and insisted that the overall results of the examinations were not affected by the leakage. Also recommending strongly a retake on the two subjects in question (Tests III & IV) is the Philippine Council for Nursing Reform ( PCNR ), a prestigious association of nursing leaders in the academic and service sectors.

Having been criticized for wavering on the retake issue, Malacanang maintains a temporary silence on the issue pending the submission of the final report by the National Bureau of Investigation.

As Secretary Mike Defensor said, “there is no indecisiveness on the part of Malacanang. The Cabinet will study and decide on the matter.”

The complexity of the case compels Government to subject it to a more thorough review and to take into consideration the prevailing circumstances to ensure that those who are guilty will bear the brunt of retribution while those who are innocent will be treated fairly.

Understandably, the candidates are tired and sick of waiting for a definite action. It’s truly heartbreaking especially to those honest board passers whose lives and career are hold in abeyance.

A retake may be a bitter pill to swallow but only a retake can remove the stigma of a leakage that tainted the nursing profession.

To save time, efforts and resources on the part of the Government the affected examinees could retake Tests III & IV during the December Nursing Board Examinations, along with the other candidates.

However, before the President orders a retake of the tests, the culprits behind the leakage including the review centers must first be apprehended after all the examinees are mere victims. This should be part of her resolve to settle the issue once and for all and redeem the integrity and good reputation of the nursing licensure system.

On the retake of test 3, worst case, it should be a retake of 20 questions only corresponding to the 20 leaked and invalidated questions.

And I suppose that need not be explained.



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