Student nurses fuming over 'unfair' exam

Student nurses fuming over 'unfair' exam.
Student nurses fuming over 'unfair' exam.
Image: 123RF/TEERAWUT MASAWAT

Hundreds of third-year nursing students at Ann Latsky Nursing College in Johannesburg have embarked on a boycotting of exams after complaining that they were not adequately prepared for the general nursing exam they wrote on Thursday.

"We went in and wrote the exam, immediately after[wards] we protested because it was an unfair paper," said a student. "We have been complaining since January about the subject and nothing was done."

Another student said it was traumatising to write an exam that he knew he was inadequately prepared for because it could mean repeating his third year.

"The problem is the lecturer. If the problem was with us we would be failing all our other subjects," the student said.

The students said they had a high number of failures and dropouts in the college because of a lack of adequate preparation.

"We put these concerns forward in a memorandum in April and we still did not find a resolution," said the student.

On Monday, the students refused to write their second exam in community nursing science and decided to hold a sit-in at their campus.

The students who wanted to be anonymous for fear of victimisation said they had been complaining about general nursing lecturer since first year.

"In first year the same lecturer taught us social studies and 70% of students failed and had to supplement because she did not give us the adequate information."

Yesterday, students followed the college management into Helen Joseph Hospital after they had left the premises to have a private meeting about the boycott.

"We were supposed to meet with them at 10am but they did not pitch up. We heard they were in the hospital so we decided to follow them and bring them back to have the meeting with us.

"We are always excluded from the meetings, which is why nothing is ever resolved," said the student.

President of the Young Nurses Indaba, Lerato Madumo-Gova, said the boycott was a symptom of a much bigger issue in the health system.

"Our firm belief is that the department of health does not take nursing seriously.

"Compromising on education is how bad nurses are created and when these issues are put forward they are not resolved," Madumo-Gova said.

Gauteng department of health spokesperson Lesemang Matuka said it was not true that the department did not take nursing students seriously.

"The management has been having engagements with the students since yesterday and we are committed in resolving issues raised," Matuka said.

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