As investigations into allegations of the leaked papers for the countrywide nursing examinations continue, information so far points to persons who had set the examination papers as the culprits.
This was revealed by Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton who on Friday confirmed that the Police investigations so far have revealed that the leak may have come from those responsible for putting together the test. He noted however, that the investigations are not yet completed.
“This certainly is at the level of the Police Force and it all points to the involvement of the authority responsible (for) setting the examination. My last communication with the Police was that they are still investigating,” he told journalists at his year end press conference.
Last month final year professional nursing students carried out a countrywide protest against word that they would have to re-sit the crucial examination, as there had been some leakage along the way. The nurses took to the streets following a meeting to which they were summoned.
They had argued that the time for a re-sit was too short since they were not given adequate time to prepare for another examination.
However, intervention by the Public Health Ministry saw the decision being deferred until Police complete their probe into the alleged breach.
Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton, had told the media that the Ministry’s Health Policy Committee met with the Nursing Council and other stakeholders to discuss the matter when it was decided that a re-sitting of the examination should be contingent on the findings of the investigations.
He explained that if the extent of which the papers were leaked was major, then most likely students will have to retake the exam but if it was to a minimal level, then alternatives would be explored to grade the budding nurses.
He said proposals have been made for the coursework of the students throughout their three years be used to determine their success as an alternative to rewriting the exam.
However, if it comes down to having to retake the examination, the Minister said a decision will have to be made regarding which organisation will spearhead the initiative.
He explained that if the nursing council is found to be greatly corrupt, then an independent body will have to set the papers, while efforts will be made to revamp the Guyana Nursing Council (GNC).
Asked about possible penalties for those found culpable, the Minister said that is up to the courts to decide.
He also did not say definitively if students found guilty of purchasing the exam papers will be punished. When prompted the Minister said, “You can only buy if you are being sold.”
Dr Norton had empathised with the nursing students and asked them to be patient while the matter is being resolved.
He remarked that it is of utmost importance that the problem is solved in a timely manner since the nursing sector is always in need of young professionals.
Some 250 nursing students stand to be affected by the decisions made in relation to this matter. (Guyana Times)