In efforts to reduce the challenges of administering exams to the growing student population of Nursing in Liberia, the Liberian Board for Nursing and Midwifery (LBNM) Launched its first Digital Online Examination System in Monrovia.
Giving the overview of the Digital Online Licensing Examination System on Friday, September 17, 2021, Registrar of LBNM Mrs. Cecelia Kpangbala – Flomo, reported that in 2009 the institution had 8 schools in Liberia. According to her, the student population for Administering the National State Board Exams was around 200 Candidates in 2014, the narrative changed to 17 Registered schools with a student population of 500 who sat the National State Board Exams in Liberia that was Regulated by LBNM. Mrs. Kpangbala – Flomo added that in 2021 of this year, about 23 Schools are currently being regulated with 900 plus candidates.
She stated that they embraced the idea of the digital platform to reduce the challenges involved in administering the exam, and trash the paper-based exam which is expensive.
“We want to get away from paper-based which is more costly because we will need more manpower and time than the Digital Online Examination. I can safely say to you here today that when we start administering exams to qualified candidates online, we will provide exams results within two weeks. With the Paper exams, we will need more men power, time, and logistics to move around and at times it takes months before results come out”, the Registrar noted.
Liberian Board for Nursing and Midwifery administered her first Exams in 1956 using the paper system which is of age to present. The institution has used the paper system with huge financial costs and challenges which include labor cost and time in preparing the exam, including logistics and most especially security risks of exam items.
Mrs. Kpangbala – Flomo complained that disposing of used exam papers is one of the challenges the council faced in administering an Exam. She noted that after administering the exam, there is a challenge to find a suitable site to burn the papers which is risky for the Environment.
LBNM administered their first test Online Digital Mock Exam in Bong County on September 13, 2021, with 108 Candidates, and the second Mock was administered in Montserrado County of the same month with 240 Candidates. In total, 348 Candidates sat the Exam. Liberia is the second African country after Ghana to use the Online Digital System to administer such Exams.
Mrs. Kpangbala – Flomo thank the government of Liberia, Partners, and the Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana and his team for the exchange of knowledge between the two countries Nursing boards.
Chief Launcher of the program Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Praised the LBNM for the innovation and Stated that Liberia is taking after Ghana in the right direction. “We are now leaving behind paper-based Systems and moving to the online digital age. There is a long hard road ahead of us, I know people will think the system might not work because if you look at some of the Roads leading to the Counties. The current challenges involved in getting the exams to Where it will be administered you might say, it might not work but we should not be terrified, we should hold on to faith that this can be done”, Liberia Health Minister encouraged the students.
Dr. Jallah expressed that the production of papers is one of the causes trees are cut down, and after use, the burning causes environmental hazards. She noted that the digital online system will help the environment because there will be less paper to deal with. “I think the first batch of students that just took the first exam was much happier because they had fewer papers to deal with and just follow the questions, I hope for an environmentally free Digital Economy”, Dr. Jallah added.
The Health Minister recommends to LBNM and partners that throughout the year, Nursing students should be prepared through the same Online Digital system platform for the online exam, so when the time comes for the Exam, it will not be like a stranger thing. She pledged MOH will work with LBNM to make sure they take ownership of the system.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister For Economic Management at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning Hon. Augustus J. Flomo, Applauded the LBNM for their wisdom in creating such a platform in the country. He pledged the Ministry of Finance support to LBNM Team. “I want to thank you all For this great initiative taken by the LBNM team I know it has not been easy, but you have made it this far and I want you to know that the Ministry of Finance is behind you with the full needed financial support in other to make this Digital online Platform a Success”, Min. Flomo informed LBNM.