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WHY MAKE NURSING RETAKE MORE DIFFICULT TO PASS THAN THE LICENSURE EXAMS?

WHY MAKE NURSING RETAKE MORE DIFFICULT TO PASS THAN THE LICENSURE EXAMS?


The rules for nursing retake scheduled in June and December 2007 as provided under Executive Order No. 609 are more exacting than what the law and equity demand under the circumstances.

When the Supreme Court did not require retake of the June 2006 nursing exams, in effect it recognized the general innocence of the passers or the lack of airtight evidence against them. If at all, the apparent orchestrators of leakage are two board examiners and some review schools, not the examinees.

Had retake of two leakage-tainted licensure exam subjects been required by the Supreme Court, it is safe to assume that Secretary Arturo Brion and the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) would have implemented the retake pursuant to the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, under which passing the board exams—including removal exams for those who previously failed in some but not all subjects--requires getting an average grade of at least 75% WITH NO GRADE LOWER THAN 60% in any subject. This rule has been accepted by CGFNS and all other foreign institutions that hire Philippine nurses, so adhering to it when CGFNS imposed retake of the two leakage-tainted subject should entail no problem to PRC and the affected passers.

Therefore, Executive Order No. 609 that drastically made onerous the nursing rule retake is unjustified and incomprehensible. Instead of requiring 75% average grade with no grade lower than 60% in any of the two subjects, the Executive Order requires 75% passing grade for EACH of BOTH subjects. Thus, even if a retaker gets a grade of 74% in one subject and 99% in the other subject, or an average of 86.5%, he still fails. However, under the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, he already passes with very high average grade!

Not satisfied with the arbitrarily high prescribed passing grade, the Executive Order DOES NOT ALLOW A SECOND CHANCE for those who will not pass the very strict passing grade requirement—there is NO SECOND RETAKE for them even if they may want to shoulder the cost of a second exam!!!

The fact that the required 75% passing grade for EACH of the TWO SUBJECTS is unnecessarily quite ONEROUS is evident from the prevailing general rule in government exams under existing laws, which set required average passing grade WITH NO GRADE BELOW a lower minimum grade in any subject, as shown by the following examples:


Under the applicable Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, passing grade is average of 75% with no grade lower than 60% in any subject.


Under the Philippine Accountancy Act of 2004, passing the CPA board exams require an average grade of 75% with no grade lower than 65% in any subject.

Under the Philippine Mechanical Engineering Act of 1998, passing the mechanical engineering licensure exams require an average grade of 70% with no grade lower than 50% in any subject.

In the Philippine bar exams as reformed under the Supreme Court Resolution on Bar Matter 1161, passing the exams require an average grade of 75% with no grade lower than 50% in any subject.

So, what is the big idea behind this totally unnecessary and avoidable government-imposed more-difficult-to-attain passing grade for the retakers? Why make their passing the retake more difficult than is necessary when they were in fact innocent VICTIMS of the government's failure to conduct an honest nursing licensure exam? Does the much higher passing standard constitute an intentional design to make more June 2006 passers fail the retake exam in order to vindicate pro-retake high government officials who prejudged that the 17,000 passers are incompetent and have to retake the exam?????? (That it is not right to make such sweeping prejudgment is proven by some of the passers who subsequently passed NCLEX exams, which do not absolutely require nursing license as an exam prerequisite.) Do many innocent June 2006 passers have to become permanent victims of the government's failure to prescribe the correct average passing grade for the nursing retake pursuant to the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002????? Doesn't the government realize that the rule to be followed on the retake is that on removal exams under this law--because the function of the retake should be precisely to undo the effect of leakage in the licensure exam by giving ANOTHER EXAM for the leakage-tainted subjects but with the SAME RULE as to PASSING GRADE? In short, the RETAKE should simply SIMULATE the taking of REMOVAL EXAMS under the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002!

Moreover, in the first place, the CGFNS-required retake is actually just an offshoot of what FILIPINOS themselves said on the nursing exam scandal, as follows:

CFO Chairman Dante Ang and some nursing educators said that the 17,000 passers are of doubtful competence and need a retake. They even petitioned the Court to order the retake. They based their biased prejudgment and petition on the implication of leakage on roughly 20% out of 500 total exam questions--which innocent passers hurdled in the first place--and totally IGNORED the SIGNIFICANCE of passing the much more numerous 80% remaining valid and unleaked questions. What these seemingly holier than thou Filipinos said, CGFNS believed.

Of the two leakage-tainted subjects, Test 3 has 80 valid questions out of 100 questions. As the required passing grade in the nursing licensure exam is general average of 75% with no grade lower than 60% in any subject, it is still within mathematical possibility and probability that at least 60 questions out of the remaining 80 valid questions were correctly answered by some passers—thereby validly meeting the required 60% out of 100 questions in the subject even if the 20 leaked questions are nullified. If the passers' grades in other subjects are high enough to meet the 75% average passing grade, then they have validly passed the licensure exam for as long as they will pass the retake on the other leakage-attended subject. In short, retake of JUST ONE--NOT TWO--SUBJECTS is called for under the situation—and it is violation of the rights of those who obtained at least 60 correct answers out of the remaining 80 valid questions to totally nullify this subject and disregard their complying grade out of the 80 remaining valid questions. The reasonableness of excluding Test 3 in the retake is appreciated by no less than the legal counsel of the complainants from Baguio, as shown herein in ANNEX A. However, because CFO Chairman Dante Ang et al played god over the passers and pronounced ex cathedra that all passers--including those who obtained 60% or higher grades in Test 3-- need to retake two subjects, CGFNS believed them.

In essence, the Philippine Government said through its ill-advised Executive Order No. 609—which defied the reasonable required passing grade under the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002—that the retake passing grade should be 75% of each of the two affected subjects. Again, CGFNS believed them and consequently adopted this more stringent rule as its requirement for the issuance of VisaScreen, as shown in ANNEX B hereof.

As can be seen, the present CGFNS retake requirement for VisaScreen issuance is merely a take off from what some Filipinos, including Philippine Government officials, said. As far as CGFNS is concerned, these Filipinos are supposed to know better. If they said bad things against the June 2006 passers, if they demanded retake of two subjects intead of just one, and if they required the more difficult 75% minimum passing grade for both of the two subjects object of retake, why shouldn't CGFNS believe them, why should it dispute what they said? Thus, the difficult CGFNS retake requirement and what may befall many passer-retakers from the more onerous retake rule are handiworks of their own countrymen and government !!!!!!!!


For the sake of propriety and fairness to the passers, the Office of the President has to issue a more lenient and reasonable AMENDED EXECUTIVE ORDER on the nursing retake. At this point, if it cannot do that without the prior conformity of CGFNS, then it should do whatever it takes to do justice to the aggrieved passer-retakers and their families.



CONCERNED CITIZENS AGAINST CORRUPTION AND POOR GOVERNANCE
C/o Gen. (Ret.) Guillermo Pecache
Chairman, Anti-Graft League of the Philippines
No. 1 Regalado Street Extension
1118 East Fairview, Quezon City



*****************************************
ANNEX A

APPRECIATION OF LACK OF ABSOLUTE NEED FOR RETAKE OF TEST 3

--------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Cheryl Daytec <
chytdaytec@gmail.com>Date: Oct 7, 2006 8:18 AM Subject: Erratum:To: antigraft@gmail.com, ruthelma01@yahoo.com , ecpalaganas@yahoo.com, jatuazon@pldtdsl.net, marilynlorenzo@yahoo.com, Geoffrey Andawi < gda_law@yahoo.com>, anonuevo@eastern.com.ph, cndean@slu.edu.ph, rtadle@excite.com
Dear Concerned Citizen,

I'm sorry that I did not correctly state what I meant in the following paragraph:

"Personally, I agree with Mr. Anonymous' view that Test III may be enough basis to measure the competencies of the examinees. It might interest you to know that I also broached this idea to my clients but most of them are for the retake of Test III. I am just a lawyer and, as Atty. Saguisag understands very well, the clients are the boss. I understand the point of my bosses. That 20 questions of Test III were leaked affects the integrity of the entire Test. Still, if it were up to me, I could compromise on Test III. I would not be unhappy if the CA were to say that there is no need to retake Test III."

Let me restate it this way:

Personally, I agree with Mr. Anonymous WHEN HE SAID that THE REMAINING (MEANING UNLEAKED) QUESTIONS IN Test III may be enough basis to measure the competencies of the examinees FOR THE SUBJECT AREA MEDICAL-SURGICAL NURSING. It might interest you to know that I also broached this idea to my clients but most of them are for the retake of Test III. I am just a lawyer and, as Atty. Saguisag understands very well, the clients are the boss. I understand the point of my bosses. That 20 questions of Test III were leaked affects the integrity of the entire Test. Still, if it were up to me, I could compromise on Test III. I would not be unhappy if the CA were to say that there is no need to retake Test III.

On second reading of my letter to you, I noticed other errors but the idea, I hope, was not lost despite the errors. So, I am not correcting them anymore.

Thank God, I could correct my mistake as there is a wide, wide room for it. As it happens, I was not dealing with a human life when I was writing you - any mistake I would have made would have been irreversible! (I hope I made you smile even if you do not agree with me).

Very truly yours,


Cheryl L. Daytec-Yañgot



ANNEX B

EXCERPTS FROM CGFNS ANSWERS
TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
(As posted to the Internet)

When must I re-take Tests 3 and 5 to be eligible for a VisaScreen Certificate?


June, 2006 Philippine Nursing Licensure Examination test passers must re-take Tests 3 and 5 as provided in Executive Order 609 stating that a "special voluntary examination" for this purpose will be given both in June and December, 2007. A June 2006 passer may take this special voluntary examination in either one of those months, at the examinee's choice. Executive Order 609 does not authorize re-takes of Tests 3 and 5 after December 2007.


What score do I have to get in order to be eligible for VisaScreen Certificate?


You must obtain a passing score of 75 percent or better on each Test. An average score of 75 -- in which one score is above 75 and one below 75 -- will not be sufficient to qualify for VisaScreen certification.

If I take the re-take of Tests 3 and 5 in June 2007, and I fail to get a score of 75 in one or both tests, can I re-take one or both Tests in December 2007?


No. After you have re-taken Tests 3 and 5 once in a "special voluntary examination," no further re-take is authorized by the Executive Order of the Philippine Government.


received via email

On Test 3, indeed, getting 60 correct answers out of the 80 unleaked questions is attainable because 60 out of 80 is just 75%--or the generally attainable "pasang awa" passing grade earned by ordinary students and examinees. Such 75% grade out of 80 remaining valid questions is equivalent to 60% of the original 100 questions and qualifies as the lawful minimum passing grade in any subject provided the average grade in all subjects is at least 75%.

In most probability, there are passers who obtained such 60 correct answers or 75% out of the 80 unleaked questions in Test 3. If so, they need not retake this test-subject if their grades in other subjects are high enough. Therefore, the government's immediate reaction to have even Test 3 retaken was erroneous and unfair and might have been the product simply of pro-retake government officials who have delusions of grandeur but in reality are mathematically challenged or woefully unskilled in MATHEMATICS!!!

mga ewan ko sa inyo!!!!, BAKIT NGAYON NYO LANG SINASABI YAN, NOON PA NAG UUSAP SA GABBLY SINSABI KO NA MALI YUNG PARAAN NG RETAKE, PAHIRAP, PRESSURE DAHIL ONCE LANG PARANG HAWAK MO BUONG MUNDO YAN SA BALIKAT AT PAG NADULAS KA TAPOS NA WALA NA DI MO NA MAIIBALIK, BAKIT SA TINGIN NYO BA PORKE TEST 3 AND 5 LANG PAPASA NA TAYO, EH TRABAHO KAYA ILAN SA ATIN, AT HINDI TRABAHO NA PRESSURE DIN.. KUNG TALAGA CONCERN CITIZEN!!! ANG GOVERNMENT SANA MAN LANG HINDI ONCE ANG RETAKE AT HINDI BOTH PASS.... MAHIRAP BA GAWIN YUN!!!!!... SIMPLE LANG DIBA?

AT SANA DI NA RIN NILA SINAMA TEST 3, SANA PINAGLABAN NA NILA YUN.... MGA TAMAD!!!

For 123456:

If you knew about the error on retake a long time ago, you should have written the President, Sec. Brion, etc. right then and there. You should not depend on others to do it for you or for the passers.

Exec. Order 609 dated March 2007 providing for the rules on retake was not widely publicized, if publicized at all. We learned about it only in last week of last month, when we opened Pinoy BSN in the Internet to see latest developments in the nursing profession. We are not among the passers and we commented only for their sake, and for the sake of exposing the shameful error of those who demanded retake of Test 3, especially the high government officials and nursing educators among them who seemed unable to properly interpret the licensure exam grading system under the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.

At worst, our comments are not too late, if action is desired from the government, for those who will do the retake in December of this year. And we are not under obligation to you or to anybody else to make such comments, whether on a timely or late basis.

What you want to be done, you do it yourself!!!!!!!

Today, June 11, retakers and first timers took the SAME Tests 3 and 5. The similarity in the exams ended there. The first timers' passing grade will be 75% average grade for all subjects with no grade lower than 60% in any subject.

In the case of retakers, the passing grade is at least 75% for each of the two exam subjects (Tests 3 and 5) retaken--the same exam subjects where first timers can afford to get a grade of at least 60% and pass the exams provided the average grade for all subjects is at least 75%.

If this is not DISCRIMINATION of the highest order against the RETAKERS, what is?

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