The state minister for Higher Education, Dr John Muyingo, is concerned that students who engage in exam malpractice in nursing and midwifery programs pose risks to the country’s healthcare profession.
Muyingo said malpractice has serious consequences in the healthcare field, as it can lead to unqualified individuals practising medicine, which can jeopardize patient safety. While releasing the June, 2023 final semester results for nurses and midwives last week, Muyingo expressed the need to promptly address the matter in a bid to maintain the integrity of healthcare education and practice.
“I am annoyed with those who participated in examination malpractices. I feel something must be done because the exams were free of leakage but some students went ahead to cheat inside examination rooms,” a furious Muyingo said.
He cleared the board to withhold, nullify, and cancel the results of 10 final candidates that contravened the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examinations Board (UNMEB) regulations. According to the UNMEB executive secretary, Helen Mukakarisa Kataratambi, all the affected candidates confessed to having committed the malpractices.
One candidate from St Eliza School of Nursing and Midwifery undertaking a Certificate in Nursing program was found with a piece of paper in the examination room written on practical paper scenarios. Mukakarisa said this candidate will be referred for clinical placement lasting six months after which, a report must be submitted to the board.
At Mityana Institute of Nursing and Midwifery, a candidate was found with a forged examination card. The candidate will go for a one-year referral period, re-sit all examinations, and is expected to complete in December 2024.
Three more certificate candidates from Mityana and one from KIU Western campus were found with written notes on pieces of paper. The entire semester results for the four candidates were cancelled. One candidate from St John School of Nursing and Midwifery presented a fraudulent logbook that lacked comments and signatures from tutors.
“This candidate did not turn up for the hearing. Following the laws of natural justice, the board has given the candidate a second opportunity for a hearing while results remain withheld,” Mukakarisa said.
At Mildmay Uganda School of Nursing and Midwifery, a candidate presented a logbook with forged signatures of tutors, clinical instructors, and mentors. The board ruled that the candidate be referred for six months, acquire a new log book, and be attached to a clinical site under supervision by the school principal.
Two candidates from Kuluva and Lacor schools of Nursing and Midwifery submitted similar research reports to the board. The results of both candidates for the said paper were cancelled.
Out of the 34,918 continuing candidates, 30,122 passed their examinations and have progressed to the subsequent semesters. More 4,493 were ungraded while 156 candidates were discontinued due to exhaustion of the prescribed three attempts of repeating the same paper. Mukakarisa said the discontinued candidates have the option to start the course afresh “if they love the profession”.