WINDHOEK- Disgruntled foreign-trained medical and dental graduates who sat for a pre-internship exam and failed would not have met the minimum requirements to enter the country’s higher education institutions.
Higher Education Minister, Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi issued a scorching reproach on foreign-trained medical and dental graduates, following a recent demonstration by about 200 trainee doctors and dental students who complained the Health Professions Councils of Namibia (HPCNA)’s pre-internship exam that failed the majority of them was a steep hill to climb.
Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Kandjii-Murangi told lawmakers that medical graduates, who have returned from foreign private higher educations, went to these institutions as self-sponsored students around 2011- 12.
“These students did not meet the minimum requirements to enter our local higher education institutions, thus they went on their own to foreign countries who admitted them, regardless of their points acquired in Grade 12,” she told lawmakers.
Kandjii-Murangi says Namibian Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), in 2014 developed new requirements for sponsoring students locally and at foreign institutions.
For local institutions, she said 25 points in five subjects are required with a D in English, for all qualifications other than Medicine and Engineering, where the requirement is 35 points.
To qualify for NSFAF sponsorship, Kandjii-Murangi said a minimum of 35 points and a D in English is required. These requirements were enforced since 2014. She said in order to further improve coordination; an agreement between the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation and the University of Namibia and NQA will be entered into.
“There will be a revised inter-ministerial Advisory Committee on medical training, that will look at coherence of processes, policies and laws,” she said. “It is our belief that we should work towards strengthening and expanding intakes in some of the priority areas of study at our local institutions of higher learning. We need to invest in physical infrastructure, and human resources in particular specialist training,” the minister said. Also, Kandjii-Murangi said scholarships that emanate from agreements with partner countries should closely be monitored and negotiated. “Why can’t some of these scholarships be tenable here at local institutions in some of the priority fields that we want to develop here? This way we build institutional capacity, respond to a major priority by introducing a local specialized program that expands access,” she said. “It is through upholding quality standards, that we can protect our citizens and also become a competitive nation,” she added. About 200 foreign-trained medical and dental students who failed the HPCNA pre-internship exam has been up in arms with the regulatory institution saying that the HPCNA board exams were set up in a manner designed to fail them, contributing to the perception that foreign-trained doctors are ‘incompetent’. New Era reported in December last year that only two out of 240 foreign-trained medical and dental students passed the board examinations, but with the graduates questioning the evaluation process.
2019-03-07 09:14:10 5 months ago