Kibungo School of Nursing students finally graduate

One hundred and eighty six pioneer students of Kibungo School of Nursing and Midwifery have been awarded advanced diplomas after successfully completing courses in nursing and midwifer
Acting Executive Director for the National Council of Higher Education, Dr. Innocent Mugisha, congratulates the best student. Saturday Times/Stephen Rwembeho.
Acting Executive Director for the National Council of Higher Education, Dr. Innocent Mugisha, congratulates the best student. Saturday Times/Stephen Rwembeho.

One hundred and eighty six pioneer students of Kibungo School of Nursing and Midwifery have been awarded advanced diplomas after successfully completing courses in nursing and midwifery.

The 105 students that specialised in general nursing and 81 in Midwifery had been waiting for awards of their diplomas since 2009 when they completed their one-year course. Three intakes graduated on the same day.

The school was started in 2002 under the financial support of the Chinese Government in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

The nursing school, that started with 80 students, was initially offering only certificates, but was later, in 2005, upgraded to offer Advanced Diplomas.

But its accreditation was delayed until June this year which delayed the graduation of the pioneer students.

Speeches congratulating the graduands were occasionally interrupted by applauses of joyous graduands and their family members.  Winifride Nzamwitakuze was the best student, with 76 per cent.

Jean Damascene Musabyimana Twahirwa, the school principal affirmed their commitment to producing professional health workers.

“The overall aim of the school is to address critical values of success such as integrity, equity, learning and growth, discipline and equity. There is no doubt that our graduates will be at the forefront,” he said.

The recent restructuring of nursing and midwifery education system saw Byumba, Kabgayi, Rwamagana, Nyagatare and Kibungo nursing schools elevated to higher education institutions.

The above schools were mandated to produce highly qualified health professionals, to help address issues of morbidity and mortality rate.

The acting Executive Director for the National Council of Higher Education, Dr. Innocent Mugisha, who presided over the function, apologised for the delay of the graduation, citing reasons beyond their control.

He said the government was committed to increasing the number of nurses to meet the high demand of their services in the country.

“We owe an apology to the graduands...the delay was however due to certain things that we had to clear before we allowed students to graduate. We are committed to providing quality education...highly competent and motivated nurses and midwives is what we need,” he said.

Reacting to the students’ request to go for further studies, Dr Mugisha assured them that opportunities were at their disposal.

“The sky will be the limit...but you need to specialise so that you can become more competetive. We cannot be underdogs on regional and global job markets...most of you had distinction which gives us hope”.

Kibingo Nursing School operates within the premises of the districts’ main hospital.

The government plans to train more midwives to bring down the ratio of midwife per pregnant woman to one midwife per 25,000 pregnant women by 2017. Presently, the ratio stands at one midwife per 44,584 pregnant women, according to the Ministry of Health.

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