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University takes "full responsibility" for students taught by sacked lecturer

The National University of Samoa will reimburse 16 students the costs of resitting some parts of a medical course, which were taught by a Kenyan lecturer whose academic qualifications were later found to be fake.

Embiruka Osborne Nyandiva was recruited as a senior lecturer in the N.U.S. School of Medicine but was later found to have bogus qualifications and was sacked last month.

“The University is at fault," said N.U.S. Council Chairman, Aeau Chris Hazelman.

"As Council (Chairman) and as Acting Vice Chancellor and we take full responsibility and we have dealt with the students and parents and we came to an amicable solution".

Responding to questions from the Samoa Observer, Aeau said the Faculty for the School of Medicine worked around the clock to protect the hard work of the students and the integrity of the University. 

In May, Osborne was suspended by the N.U.S. pending an investigation and report from the Samoa Qualifications Authority (S.Q.A.) on his credentials. He left Samoa the same month. 

According to the S.Q.A. report, the degrees he submitted “are all not authentic".

An investigation – in response to a request from the Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) and the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) – concluded that the University needed to reimburse the students who were taught by Osborne and have them re-sit some components of their courses.

“Last month, we met with the parents and students and there was a long discussion on how to deal with the issue and, in the end, the students and parents have accepted the solution," he said.

“They were given two options on how to cover the courses in question. As far as the examinations were concerned the faculty had done a thorough check in the usual moderation and marking processes."

“And we were able to fulfil all that had to be done."

He said there are “some contents” of the course that the Faculty of the Medical School determined the 16 students needed to sit again to validate their degree credits.  

"It was a unanimous decision by the faculty of the school of medicine that regardless of what level these students will take, there are certain contents they must take should be wish to become doctors in the future,” said Aeau. 

He admitted this will “overload the students” but they will have to take the required contents. 

“And the University will fork up the full cost for the courses,” he added. 

The Chairman said the University had amended their human resources policies to ensure this incident did not occur again. 

Minister of Education Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio expressed his disappointment, when he was initially interviewed by this newspaper on the matter.

Loau blamed the former Vice Chancellor, for not doing his job properly. 

“This man was hired by the V.C. under his authority to hire and fire staff at the N.U.S. and there will be changes to that aspect of the authoritative lane allocated for the V.C. of the University.” 

The Kenyan lecturer's bogus certificates were uncovered when the Director General for the Health Ministry, Leausa Dr Take Naseri, questioned a report submitted by Osborne who did “laboratory work” for the hospital.  

“And the reports submitted appeared questionable and this prompted the query with the N.U.S. which was later extended to the Samoa Qualification Authority,” said Leausa. 

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