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Fiji Time: 6:41 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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Door opens for zero kids

Ropate Valemei
Saturday, January 19, 2013

THE Fiji National University College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS) will accept the protesting students of Labasa Sangam College who got zero marks in their Fiji Seventh Form Examination biology paper.

The students will be able to use their English and other three subjects to gain entry.

CMNHS Dean Professor Ian Rouse confirmed to this newspaper the office had received nine of the 11 applications of the students.

"Not having a mark in biology will not necessarily exclude them. It depends on what other subjects they have done. In fact, on close check, it seems that all of them can use their English and three other subjects to gain entry. None of them require a mark in biology," Prof Rouse said.

He said the school was always keen to help aspiring students but was also passionate about transparent and quality selection processes.

"I am able to confirm that some but not all students will have applied for medicine. Other students have applied for one of a number of other programs."

He said the qualifying mark for the school varied for different programs, adding the situation was an unfortunate one.

"If the students have cheated then they need to understand the consequences and look at other ways of working towards their career goal. There are certainly other ways of getting there," Prof Rouse said.

"If they haven't, then I would hope for a win-win solution."

Prof Rouse urged all students to contact the college's academic office for their enrolment.

Ministry of Education permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal said it was good that the students were accepted.

A spokesman for the protesting students, Rajesh Lal, was lost for words when he heard the news.

Mr Lal said they welcomed the move and described it as one of their biggest achievements. "Of the 11 students, one dropped out because he got 157, leaving 10 students."

He said three students wanted to pursue their dreams in nursing, one in pharmacy while the rest applied to the school of medicine.