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…students want answers, bemoan setback in career
By Naomi Marshall
The decision by the Ministry of Health to suspend the First Year Nursing Students at the Charles Rosa School of Nursing in Linden has left the youths of Region Ten and One, districts with high unemployment rate, in much distress and anxiety.
After showing up for classes on April 29, 2021, the first year nursing students were informed by the Principal of the school, Hilary Christopher that the programme has been suspended with immediate effect until further notice. He said the directives came from the Ministry of Health.
“The principal of the school gave the news to us. He said I have bad news, unfortunately we have to suspend the programme with immediate effect until further notice with instructions from the Ministry of Health,” a nursing student recalled.
The batch of 31 students who began the nursing programme on March 8, 2021 were not informed of the reason behind the suspension.
The student who wishes to stay anonymous stated, “The class in complete shock kept asking the principal why the sudden suspension but he said he was unaware and up until now we have not received any tangible or direct information from the school as to why we were sent home.”
The nursing student who hails from Region 10 told this publication that the situation is devastating and unfair because she has been waiting close to two years to begin the programme, and even left her job to attend classes only to end up with nothing to do.
“Some of us applied since in 2019, then we were to start since last year and they told us we had to wait for them to get some stuff in order. This is very devastating and I am sure my batch mates feel the same way because it left a lot of us without a job because individuals like myself had to leave their jobs to attend nursing school and we were already replaced and it is hard to stay home and do nothing,” the anonymous student expressed.
Meanwhile, students hailing from the hinterland regions that was a part of the nursing programme in Linden were advised by the Principle to return home since it is unknown as to when the programme will resume.
The students whose travel allowance is normally covered by the Ministry of Health were advised to use their personal money to travel and got assurance that they will be reimbursed later on.
A nursing student who hails from Region One called the situation frustrating and indicated that she has not gone back home as yet because she has invested a lot to be a part of the school and is waiting to be updated on if the decision made will be reversed.
“I have not left to go home as yet because my Region’s Health Department was not aware of the suspension when it happened so presently I am waiting to know exactly what they (Ministry of Health) is doing because I have invested a lot to get here which is why I decided not to go home back as yet,” said the young woman.
She is among six students hailing from Region One that is was a part of the nursing school in Linden.
The nursing students are hoping that the situation will be sorted and resolved soon so that they can return to the journey of accomplishing their goals.
Representative of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU), Maurice Butters, told Village Voice News that although the students are not a part of the union, it is still concerned that such a decision was made, displacing over 30 youths.
“More so we are concerned as Lindeners because here it is that you have a set of young people who have gone into this training to be nurses, seeking employment, some would have resigned from previous employment to come and take you nursing only to hear something like that happening,” he noted
Butters is also questioning why the nursing programme was only suspended in Linden, while the other nursing schools in other regions around Guyana continue to have normal operations.
“We are hearing that the suspension was only done in Linden. We do not have any other information that it was done in any other region. We are concerned that another group of youths would be out of a job,” he said.
The representative highlighted that the Chief Executive Officer of the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC), Rudolph Small had stated that the LHC is over staffed, which may be the reason behind the suspension.