13 of 20 nursing schools below par

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A TOP official of the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) in Davao told underperforming nursing schools in the region to shape up or risk eventual closure.

This after a tallying result of the nursing board exams made by Ched central office showed that only seven out of 20 nursing colleges in the region performed above the national passing percentage during the 2009 nursing licensure examinations.

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In a data tallying the results of the nursing board exams nationwide, less than half of the region's nursing schools have overall passing rates above the national passing percentage of 40.70 percent.

Ched-Davao Director Edward Aquino identified the 13 non-performing schools as follows:

* Mindanao Medical Foundation College -- passing rate of 12.34 percent as 132 out of its 1,070 students passed;

* Arriesgado College Foundation Inc. -- 26.83 percent passing rate or 121 out of 451 of its students passed;

* John Paul II College -- 26.26 percent passing rate as 52 out of 198 students passed;

* Polytechnic College of Davao del Sur with a passing rate of 23.88 percent as 69 out of 289 passed;

* University of Mindanao-Tagum with 23.74 percent, as 33 out of 139 passed;

* University of the Immaculate Conception-Davao -- 22.30 percent as 33 out of 148 passed;

* North Davao College-Tagum Foundation -- 17.97 percent or 94 out of 523 passed;

* Davao Oriental State College of Science & Technology -- passing rate of 35.29 percent as 12 out of 34 students passed;

* University of Mindanao-Digos College -- passing rate of 23.75 percent as 19 out of 80 students passed;

* Holy Child School of Davao -- 21.95 percent as 9 out of 41 passed;

* Mati Doctors College has 20.37 percent as 11 out of 54 passed;

* Davao Merchant Marine Academy -- 15.38 percent paasing rate as 14 out of 91 passed; and

* Tecaro College Foundation Inc. -- passing rate of 9.52 percent as eight out of 84 students passed.

In each region, the nursing schools were categorized by how many exam takers each school had. Range 1 is for schools with 1,000 and up takers; Range 2 for schools with 100 to 999 takers; and Range 3 for 10 to 99 takers.

For schools in Davao, which have overall passing rates above the national passing percentage, under Range 1 are Brokenshire College with a 44.57 percent passing rate, as 649 out of its 1,456 exam takers passed; and Davao Doctors College Inc. with 43.43 percent passing rate, as 784 out of 1,805 students passed.

Under Range 2 are: San Pedro College-Davao City, with an overall passing rate of 86.45 percent or 785 out of 908 exam takers passed; Ateneo de Davao University, with an overall passing rate of 64.73 percent as 268 out of 414 students passed; Davao Medical School Foundation, with a passing rate of 58.33 percent or 84 out of 144 passed; University of Mindanao-Davao City, with 56.48 percent as 122 out of 216 exam takers passed; and Saint Mary's College-Tagum, with a passing rate of 56.25 percent or 153 out of 272 students passed.

The Ched central office last week sent to all regional offices the performance rates of all nursing schools nationwide. Ched-Davao received a copy on May 29.

Ched-Davao education supervisor Engr. Luis Perez said that along with this data, a memorandum from Ched chair Emmanuel Angeles was also sent to all regional offices ordering the "posting and dissemination of the 2009 nursing examination results in (the regions') local newspapers."

Earlier, commission issued memorandum order 14, which sets 30 percent as passing performance rate by a nursing school.

Ched has also warned that "more than 100 nursing schools" around the country would be closed by 2013 if their average board exam passing rate for the next three years remained below 30 percent.

During the 2009 nursing board exam, 53.10 percent of the exam takers were first timers, while 46.9 percent of the takers were repeaters. An overall passing percentage of 40.7 percent was tallied nationwide.


Perez said they are alarmed over the outcome and supported Ched central office's warning to "close schools that are performing poorly."

"This is quite concerning because, as it shows, less than 50 percent of our nursing schools performed above the national passing percentage," Perez said in an interview Wednesday at Ched-Davao office at Juna Subdivision.

"In seeing how the schools in the region fair with other regions, other regions have a lot of schools who performed below the national passing percentage but in most regions, more than 50 percent of their nursing schools have overall passing rates above the national passing percentage," he added.

Perez, however, said the Ched-Davao will "only warn" schools now and denied issuing any recommendation to the central office for the closure of low performing nursing schools in the region.

"The chairman Emmanuel Angeles has ordered that we will disclose this data (on the region's nursing schools' performance) to the public. He has also said nursing schools with dismal board examination passing rates should shape up within the next three years or face closure after three years," Perez said.

Commercial venture

Meanwhile, Aquino said nursing schools have become a commercial venture.

"Ched felt that too many nursing graduates do not pass the board exams, so it seems that some nursing schools are becoming nothing but mere commercial ventures, and they're not after the quality of teaching anymore," Aquino said.

The data from Ched central office also collated how many first-time exam takers and repeaters were in each school nationwide.

In the list of schools above the national passing percentage, under Range 1 are Brokenshire College, which had 669 retakers and 148 students or 22.12 percent passers; and Davao Doctors College Inc., which had 680 retakers and 158 of 23.24 percent passers.

Under Range 2, San Pedro College-Davao City had 96 retakers and 40 students or 41.67 percent passers; Ateneo de Davao University with 143 retakers and 56 or 39.16 passers; Davao Medical School Foundation with 35 retakers and seven or 20 percent passers; University of Mindanao-Davao City with 60 retakers and 28.33 percent or 17 passers; and Saint Mary's College-Tagum with 71 retakers and 22 or 30.99 percent passers.

Under the list of schools below the national passing percentage, Mindanao Medical Foundation College falls under Range 1, with 718 retakers and 55 or 7.66 percent passers.

Under Range 2, Arriesgado College Foundation Inc. had 197 retakers and 11.17 percent or 22 passers; John Paul II College had 58 retakers and 11 or 18.97 percent passers; Polytechnic College of Davao del Sur had 130 retakers and 17 or 13.08 percent passers; University of Mindanao-Tagum had 63 retakers and 10 or 15.87 percent passers; University of the Immaculate Conception-Davao has 67 retakers and eight or 11.94 percent passers; and North Davao College-Tagum Foundation had 293 retakers and 46 or 15.70 percent passers.

Under Range 3 are Davao Oriental State College of Science & Technology, which had 20 retakers and two or 10 percent passers; University of Mindanao-Digos College, with 47 retakers and seven or 14.89 percent passers; Holy Child School of Davao, with six retakers and one or 16.67 percent passers; Mati Doctors College, with 28 retakers and one or 3.57 passers; Davao Merchant Marine Academy, with 38 retakers and four or 10.53 percent passers; and Tecaro College Foundation Inc., with 66 retakers and four or 6.06 percent passers.

Joint forces

Ched-Davao will join forces with its counterparts from the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Professional Regulation Commission to intensify efforts in monitoring, evaluating and regulating all tertiary institutions that offer "board courses" degrees, which require holders to pass a national licensure exam in order to practice the discipline.

Aquino said special attention will be given to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that offer nursing degree programs.

He added, however, that Ched-Davao is still awaiting the final directives of the central office, hence will not pre-empt it.

Aquino said this stricter policy will be implemented on grounds of what Ched calls "the worsening quality" of nursing education in the country.

This observation was based primarily on the rapidly dropping national passing average for the Philippine Nursing Licensure Examination (NLE).


As per the initial phase of implementation of Article XI of Ched memorandum order 14 Series of 2009 (CMO 14), a nursing HEI that will be found to have underperformed after the three-year evaluation period (Academic Years 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013) in the NLE will either be immediately closed down or gradually phased out. The sanctions depend on the gravity of the situation.

CMO 14 states that after this period, an average NLE passing percentage of at least 30 percent is required for an HEI to be exempted from sanctions.

The 30 percent figure was derived by getting two-thirds of 45.91 percent, the average passing rate for the years 2004 up to 2008, according to official statistics from PRC.

Officials from PRC were asked to comment on the issue but they notified Sun.Star that a circular from the central office entitled, "Authority to Regulate Board Programs," which arrived this afternoon, must still be thoroughly studied before comments are issued from their side.

No issuance

Aquino pointed out that no recent CMO 14-related notifications were issued to the schools concerned, as these HEIs always receive copies of all CMOs as soon as they come out.

Aquino said HEIs should have already put up appropriate mechanisms to calibrate their performance with respect to national standards, as set by the same memo. These HEIs were repeatedly informed to do so during meetings and conferences, so that another reminder is unnecessary.

Aquino, however, does not discount the possibility that such a directive may arrive from the central office anytime soon.

The Ched official website states CMO 14 was released in November of 2009, about six months prior to the commencement of this academic year.

Aquino said this type of policy is not entirely unfamiliar to most HEIs, adding that in the past, similar CMOs were issued for other professions such as law, accounting and teacher education.

Also, many have been given the same kind of sanctions for non-compliance, he said.

Aquino gave three primary reasons for the problematic quality of nursing education in the country: mismanagement of the HEIs, chronic "brain drain" problem of the country at-large, and the rampant "piracy of manpower."

13 20 nursing schools below par

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