Business and Finance

2 nursing students sent to jail

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Two students have ended their career in nursing after the Bushenyi Chief Magistrate’s Court convicted them for their involvement in examination malpractice.

Mr Godfrey Katende, the chairperson exam and security committee of the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examinations Board (UNMEB), yesterday said the students had lost their chance and are not expected to enrol on any health profession under the board. “We don’t expect such students to graduate under UNMEB because they lack the core value of professionalism,” Mr Katende said.

Seleusi Kambale, a qualified nurse, colluded with, and was caught impersonating Olive Biira Bisirikirwa, a student of Ishaka School of Nursing. Kambale presented an examination card belonging to Biira and accessed the examination room. The two were charged with impersonation and forgery and each sentenced to seven months imprisonment which will run concurrently.

Also, 31 candidates from Mulago School of Nursing were asked to repeat clinical practicals in hospitals and health centres after their results were withheld early this year.

Supervisory gaps
However, Prof Wilton Sebastian Kezala, UNMEB board chairman, yesterday admitted that while there were weaknesses on the side of the students, there were also supervisory gaps. He explained that the court judgment will help avert the unwanted behaviour which would have otherwise, clogged the health system affecting the quality of nursing contrary to the public policy.

“The board is determined to deal with examination malpractice. We will ensure that the affected candidates are sent back for clinical placement for three months to acquire the necessary practical skills and complete their clinical books,” Prof Kezala said.

The executive secretary, Ms Helen Kataratambi, said both the schools and hospitals where students go for practicals are understaffed. This, in turn, affects their supervision since they have other responsibilities to perform at these health facilities.

“Mulago hospital is understaffed yet this is where most schools send students on diploma course. There is shortage of staff in our schools. Some students don’t take their work seriously. They report on ward and quickly go away before doing the work and the mentors don’t have time to supervise,” Ms Kataratambi told journalist in Kampala.

At least 2, 691 students appeared for the UNMEB exams from 45 institutions.

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