Students from St. Francis School of Health Sciences, Namataba in Mukono district were on Monday left shocked after missing out on Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examination Board-UNMEB exams yet they paid the fees for sitting to their institute months ago and have been preparing for the exams.
In desperation, they stormed Namataba police station demanding reprimand of the school management for misdirecting them to apply for none-existing courses.
The twenty-three students claim that the school management convinced them to join the institute on half bursary claiming that they had partnered with Mulago School of Nursing and Midwifery where they had applied for a diploma course but failed to join because of failure to raise the required tuition, only to realise after spending six months studying that the institute did not qualify to offer diplomas in Nursing and Midwifery.
On Monday evening after spending almost a full day trying efforts to convince the management refund money paid for exams and tuition for the months they have stayed at the institute without success, the students opted to reach out to police to assist them talk to the administration consider their request or get them to formerly write to their parents explaining the matter.
However, Namataba Police Station Officer in Charge AIP Raymond Komakech declined to offer them assistance, directing them to court saying it is the only place where their matter can be handled.
“This is not a criminal case; therefore, you have wasted your time coming here for these are matters handled by the courts of laws and it is the right place to go,” AIP Komakech advised.
Precious Mwesigwa, one of the affected students says they are currently stranded, at first they were asked by the administration to formally write requesting for refund which they did but instead the finance department chased them away.
Now police are referring them to court, a process which also requires money. So far each student claims to have spent between 2. 5 and 3 million Shillings.
Prillah Karungi has appealed to the Ministry of Education together with the Uganda National Association of Student Nurses and Midwives leadership to intervene in their matter. She notes that the administration offered them timetables for internal examinations yet they can’t present them anywhere.
UNMEB as established in December 2005 by the Ministry of Education and Sports, is the only body to streamline, regulate and also coordinate examinations and awards for nurses and midwives at both certificate and diploma levels in Uganda.
Another student, Maria Ayikoru says the institution has done enough to prove its untrustworthiness, making it hard for them trust their study environment anymore.
Despite students paying 250,000 Shillings to the institute bank account money meant to be paid to UNMEB for the entire examination process, UNMEB declined to approve them saying their institution enrolled them before it was accredited to handle the course.
The institute management is still silent over the matter over the matter despite being approached several time for comment.
However, a copy of letter from the National Council for Higher Education signed by Dr Alex Kagume this year indicates that St. Francis was accredited to offer the course on April 14, despite the fact that the institution embarked on the enrollment of students February.
The letter under section 119(A) of the University and other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 forbids running of any academic programs that have been not accredited by NCHE.
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