The Imo State College of Nursing and Midwifery, Orlu may come under the hammer of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria(NMCN), following reports that the state government is interfering with the administration of the institution.
It was gathered that the state commissoner for education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha has developed a penchant for interfering with the school’s activities especially as it affects their examinations.
This, many staff and students fear will be detrimental to the college before the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.
According to some academic staff of the college, the commissoner had recently ordered the College Examination Officer, Mrs. Stellamaris Okechukwu to cancel students promotion resit examinations scheduled for 25th and 26th of February, 2021.
This examination cancellation by the commissioner, it was learned, incited some students to hold the Examination Officer hostage at her office for hours threatening to attack her if she did not continue with the examination.
It took the timely intervention of the security officers of the College to save the Examination Officer from the students.
Before the latest incident, Commissioner Ikegwuoha was said to have disrupted the first semester examinations of the 2019/2020 set of students that held in July of 2020 and the General Nursing Council Examination (GNCE) that held in August of 2020, because some recalcitrant students did not want a re-sit for the courses failed.
This action, it was gathered, almost resulted in the cancellation of the August 2020 GNCE by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and closure of the College.
In the latest edition of the General Nursing Curriculum, the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria insists that “The student shall be allowed to resit any failed course. A maximum of three courses shall be allowed for resit per semester.”
One of the staff said, “This was what some government officials did in 2018 when they illegally removed Princess Ngozi Duru as the college provost. One of the consequences was that the college posted abysmally poor results as reports from Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, November 2018 General Nursing Council Examination result list, showed that our college had 38.33 percentage pass because students who failed examinations were allowed to continue. But, when Princess Duru was reinstated in 2020, our students posted a record breaking 100 percentage pass with about 14 students making credit in the November 2020 General Nursing Council Examination. That singular result ranked us as the best college of nursing in Nigeria.
“How can students who failed the College examinations dictate how or when they will resit for the examination? Some recalcitrant students went to the Commissioner for Education and complained about their resit examinations and without inquiries Ikegwuoha cancelled the promotion resit examination scheduled by the College. They want to pass exams without sitting for them. The truth remains that the Commissioner for Education and some persons are playing politics with this College of Nursing in Orlu which is so sad, it is jeopardizing the life of innocent students in the College.”
The staff also accused the commissioner of disregarding the provisions of the Curriculum of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and the Edict of the College in the appointment of the acting provost of the College, Mrs. Hannah Offor.
It was gathered that Offor was only employed in the College in 2018 and was still undergoing probation before she was appointed as the acting provost of the institution by the commissioner even without possessing the minimum requirements of Masters in Nursing Science.
According to the latest Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria curriculum, ”The head of a school/ College shall be a registered Nurse educator with first degree in Nursing and minimum of master’s degree in Nursing.”
The staff wondered why Prof. B.T.O. Ikegwuoha would appoint Offor as Acting Provost ahead of three other qualified, confirmed and experienced academic staff of the institution.
When our correspondent met Prof. Ikegwuoha in his office, the commissoner asked our correspondent to visit the college to get any required clarification.
Source: The Nation Newspaper