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Nursing certificates & Diploma courses to be phased out after MPs agreed to gov’t’s call

Parliament has backed the government’s position on phasing out comprehensive nursing certificate and diploma course, saying it no longer meets the demands of the current job market in the health sector.

Although Parliament’s Committee on Education and Sports, through a joint report, had earlier opposed the government’s move to phase out the course, the State Minister for Higher Education, Mr John Chrysostom Muyingo, yesterday defended the government’s position that the said course lacked the relevant content to address the needs of the current job market, which was supported by the MPs.

“The government announced the phasing out of comprehensive nursing in 2020. We have looked at the job market, revised the curriculum of midwifery and nursing so that we address the needs of the job market and so far so good,” Mr Muyingo reasoned.

Dr Noah Musa (Koboko North MP) in 2022 first raised the matter in Parliament questioning why the course was being phased out, prompting the Speaker to refer the matter to the Parliamentary Education committee for investigation.

In a committee report that was presented by Mr Philips Lokwang, the MP for Napore West County in Karenga District, the members of the committee had unanimously resolved that phasing out of both certificate and diploma courses in comprehensive nursing will have several citizens who trained and those still training in the field affected negatively.

“The Committee observed that while the decision to phase out the academic programme took immediate effect, there were no instruments to support the pronouncement that would guide nursing training schools to offer support to fresh students,” reads the report.

Government, the report adds, did not put into consideration the costs associated with its decision to phase out the academic programme; “which costs, to a large extent, would be borne directly by in-service comprehensive nurses, those employed in the private sector and continuing students,” the reports reads further.

“Such costs include but are not limited to re-training, service disruptions and outflow of nurses cadres, which ultimately would take a toll on healthcare service delivery…. Government should guide on how the comprehensive nurses in the field, affected prospecting and current students who were admitted for the said courses by nursing training schools should proceed,” it adds.

However, Dr Musa later concurred with the Education minister, saying, “Since the minister has already said a lot has been done and everything has been upright, I think it is okay [to phase out the course] because we even have very many nurses that government cannot employ.”

Meanwhile, legislators faulted the Education ministry for coming up with ‘abrupt’ resolutions without consulting the relevant parliamentary committee and other stakeholders.

Kimanya-Kabonera MP Abed Bwanika was concerned about the plight of the practicing nurses and students who had been enrolled for the course since the decision took immediate effect.

Legislators on the Education committee, in the report, noted with concern that the sudden phasing out of the course left a negative impact on the students who had trained and were still training in the field.

Minister Muyingo, when tasked to explain, noted that the government has established schemes to help in training the affected health personnel but decried the funding gap, which he said has hindered their progress.

“That is why when we come to this House during our budgeting process, I request you to be merciful to us so that we fully implement the service,” he said.

Aringa North County MP Godfrey Onzima asked the government to always carry out enough consultations before making such decisions to avoid future mistakes.



Derek Kanalo
the authorDerek Kanalo
News Reporter/ Editor
Am a professionally trained and well skilled media personality. Accuracy is part of my top priority as a journalist.