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MPs Reject Gov’t Move To Phase Out Comprehensive Certificate & Diploma Courses For Nurses

Government wants to phase out comprehensive certificate and diploma for nurses

MPs on Parliament’s Education Committee have rejected the plan by both the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health to phase out comprehensive certificate and diploma courses for nurses, saying this will render those who pursued the course earlier on as uneducated.

This followed a concern raised in March 2022 by Musa Noah (Koboko North) who tasked the Ministry of Education to explain why a hasty decision was made to scrap off certificate and diploma training for comprehensive nurses.

Masaka School of Comprehensive Nurses went ahead and admitted 80 students, while Soroti School of Comprehensive Nursing admitted 160 students this year.

However, while appearing before the Education Committee, Minister of State for Primary Education, Joyce Kaducu defended the decision to scrap off the courses, saying the move is aimed at ensuring that the courses meet the regional and international nursing standards.

“We want to meet the international standards such that the nursing and midwifery profession meets the east African and the global standard and that gives it the right to be under the Ministry of Education,” said Kaducu.

She was further backed by Safinah Museene, Commissioner Health Training at the Ministry of Education, who  revealed that training of comprehensive nurses started in 1992 and as per May 2022, the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council had 3,557 registered Nurses and 20,253 enrolled comprehensive nurses, but the decision to scrap off these courses followed complaints from employers that the group doesn’t serve needs in the job market.

She explained: “The Ministry of Education trains cadres that are on demand by employers. Whereas this training has been for some time, there have been voices of dissatisfaction from the health sector that this program doesn’t serve their employment needs.“

Aggrey Bagiire (Bunya West) rejected the argument fronted by Government, describing it as unfair and questioned why the Ministry of Health didn’t consider the option of changing the curriculum like it is done at Universities.

“If it isn’t detailed enough, curriculums have been changed, you should have changed the curriculum to increase the content of what was lacking. Why should we just jump on the aspect of closing, why? We have seen even in University courses added and there are people who didn’t study particular course units. But when they discover that the particular course unit is needed by the employers, they embed it in,” he said.

He also wondered why it had taken both the employers and Government two decades to realize that these students weren’t employable, arguing that scrapping the course means those people who trained in that particular qualification are left hanging and rendered as people who never went to school yet it isn’t their mistake that such a program was put in place and was lacking in content.

Jennifer Alanyo (UPDF) tasked the Ministry of Education to incur the cost of retraining the students and people who pursued this course, because the current economic times may prove hard for the victims to pursue other courses.

“The economy is biting, is the government going to have a hand and tell these people progress to achieve the paper which the Ministry requires? By telling them to go and they don’t have the money is also another factor. The Ministry of Health would have sat down with the Ministry of Education to harmonise this ground and instead of phasing out, they would have added that gap which is lacking in order to make the course better,” said Alanyo.

James Kubeketerya (Bunya East) asked the Ministry if the globalization of the training is intended to export nurses to other nations; “They said that you want them to be in tandem with international standards. Are we training these nurses for export now that they are so many that we want to take them for export?”

Committee Chairperson, John Twesigye however castigated the Ministry of Health for snubbing the meeting, saying that most of the questions raised by MPs were meant to be answered by the health sector, prompting him to adjourn the next meeting to September.


4 thoughts on “MPs Reject Gov’t Move To Phase Out Comprehensive Certificate & Diploma Courses For Nurses

  1. Margaret Serwanja

    This would be unfair on all certificate and diploma holders.it does not even make sense.
    I agree with upgrading from certificate to diploma or so but do not think everyone will be able to retrain for 3-4 yrs just cos you want people to have degrees.
    Circumstances will not allow certain individuals.
    If you want this to work, make it soft and accessible progressive upgrade e.g 18 months. Puy into consideration ones previous training. What profile they have. The experience in their respective areas of practice and base on that.
    Restructure the training for these Nurses to suit their needs. It’s unreasonable to have the same program towards BSc for a fresh young person from school with a over 40 Yr old Nurse with extensive Nursling/ midwifery experience.
    Degrees will not do the jobs. Experienced and knowledgeable people will. Please look into this.

  2. Akansasira Ishmael

    They should leave it and instead add what is lacking to make it more palatable

    • kemijumbi aisha

      Before they make any decision, they should consider those people out there who did certificate and diploma in both nursing and midwifery long time ago.they either plan for them on how to upgrade to the standards they want because they also invested in a lot of money,efforts and time in getting those papers they see as nothing.


        Hello I support that because just imagine my parent has spent over 6million in just three semesters. How will it sound if the course is phased out and I have to begins life afresh. So please the govt should also consider repercussions we nurses we are going to face after making that decision.

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