• January 21st, 2020

Health Professions Council board exam not equivalent to Unam final year

WINDHOEK – A report to the Health Professions Council of Namibia (HPCNA) says that the November 2018 board examination where only two out of 240 foreign-trained medical doctors passed the exams was found to not be equivalent to the University of Namibia (Unam) final year examinations for medical students. 

Dr Shonag Mackenzie, a gynaecologist who was appointed on behalf of appellants to the independent evaluation panel, said in a report provided for the appeals committee of the Medical and Dental Council of Namibia the HPCNA students were disadvantaged in their examination.  

“I find that the HPCNA regular examination paper Part A questions are identical or equivalent to the Unam papers. The proportion of questions asked about different areas in each specialty is also equivalent. There is, therefore, no difference in content between the papers. However, the HPCNA candidates have 66 minutes less time than the Unam students to answer the same number of questions so the papers cannot be said to be equivalent, with the HPCNA candidates being disadvantaged,” said Mackenzie.

She also found that the HPCNA regular examination paper Part B questions in Section 4 and Section 5 are identical to the Unam papers.

 “In Section 6, I feel the focus and mix of questions are significantly different from the Unam paper and puts the HPCNA candidates at a disadvantage. The time given to both Unam and HPCNA exam candidates is the same,” said Mackenzie. 

She also reported that there was no transparency on who set the questions for the HPCNA examination and how the answers were agreed. 

“Unam also failed to provide their answers although these are in possession of the university. I am aware of several wrong answers in Section 2 of Paper A which raises the possibility of wrong answers in other sections of both HPCNA regular examination Part A and Part B,” said Mackenzie.  The affected students said they have sought to put this issue to rest and be re-evaluated, as their concerns have been confirmed by an expert. 

“It is unfortunate that despite the aired concerns, the council had resorted to ignoring the matter, defending themselves and refusing responsibility. It is even more disappointing that regardless of the countless number of times we had sent letters to the council before proceeding to court, that it has chosen to direct offences onto us when all we sought was a listening ear to the body that was also assigned to its professionals,” reads a part of the press release. 

Staff Reporter
2019-06-24 10:21:49 | 6 months ago

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