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Nurses Board wants review of diploma extension curricula 

Nurses at a recent workshop

Nurses at a recent workshop

The Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examinations Board (UNMEB) has asked the ministry of Education and Sports to review the curricula for all diploma extension programs and introduce an innovative one that allows students to study while pursuing other private activities.

The UNMEB chairperson, John Kennedy Wakida, said the board is concerned that the performance of diploma extension programs is increasingly low compared to that of the diploma direct programs.

“The performance is low because the majority of these students on the program are working. You can imagine juggling studies, being a housewife, and working. It becomes hectic. Ultimately, it compromises the quality of education and over time; it affects the students,” Wakida said at the release of the June 2022 final semester examination results at the Office of the President conference hall last week.

He added that lately, stringent guidelines from employees are deterring them from upgrading their skills yet age is also catching up with them.

In countries like Kenya, there’s a deliberate program annually to enroll a sizeable number of working certificate nurses and midwives for diplomas to ease career progression.

When asked if this cohort of students was critical for the health sector, Wakida said: “Almost 60 per cent of people who qualify as nurses and midwives in Uganda are certificate holders. We would like this critical mass to go up by upgrading to diplomas and above through flexible diploma extension programs.”

He added that the 18-month program can be customized for either online, weekend, or full-time depending on the student’s

At the release of the June 2022 exam results, students pursuing diploma extension programs continue to record low grades. Out of the 85 ungraded candidates, 69 were from extension programs. Only 16 candidates passed with distinctions while seven missed examinations.


At least 53,683 candidates from 113 accredited nursing and midwifery institutions were presented for the 33rd series of examinations from June 20 to July 1, 2022. Of the total candidature, 4,456 and 49,227 were final and continuing students, respectively.

Some 43,851 (89.1%) continuing candidates passed their examinations and will progress to the next semesters while 5,051 (10.3%) were ungraded. The ungraded students will be on probation progress as they await retaking the failed papers when next offered.

For finalists, out of the 4,456 candidates, 2,233 were for diploma programs while 2,223 did certificates. At the certificate level, 1,938 (87.1%) candidates passed the examinations compared to 846 (88.9%) last year. Fourteen passed at distinction level, 1,593 at credit level, and 331 at pass level.

At least 273 candidates were ungraded while 12 missed the examinations. A slight decline in the performance of certificate candidates of 1.8% was noted in June 2022.

Out of the 2,233 diploma candidates, 2,141 (95.9%) passed at distinction level, 1,931 passed at credit level, and 150 at pass level. 85 were ungraded while seven candidates were absent.

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