The phrase ‘Pharmacy hard o!’ is a very common word to most fresh students in pharmacy. The advice pharmacy students hear most of the time is even intelligent students get kick out or stay extra years. However, after years in the course, I can say it depends on your own perspective.
I think the main reason why many students in pharmacy consider it difficult is that the orientation was poor. That is they find information about the course from the wrong persons. Many pharmacy students today started pharmacy education with a mindset of patent medicine dealers.
However, I can say today that pharmacy is more than that. A course that cuts across many subjects. Therefore, students who are versatile in knowledge will find it interesting.
The Difficult Part Of Pharmacy Education
It is rare to see students being kicked out during 100 level. The majority that does leave happens voluntarily. The reasons they do it range from students who travel abroad to continue the study or for something else like a change of course to medicine and surgery, health reasons or leave out of fear of suffering the same fate with others who have been kicked out in higher levels, etc.
However, it is not impossible to be kicked out in year one when students fail any of the conditions to proceed to the next level.
In general, conditions for moving to the next level varies from one university to the other. Since Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (P.C.N) regulates them and National Universities Commission (N.U.C), the requirements are similar.
Conditions Guiding Year One Pharmacy
Year one courses are normally courses not related to the pharmacy but science subjects. The law guiding proceed to the next level are somewhat mild. Take for instance, in a university, a student must not fail a particular subject twice in a year. That is a student must not have less than 45 % in two subjects like mathematics subjects in the year either from one semester or even two semesters. In such a case, he will probate or repeat.
Others conditions are student must not fail some amounts of unit credits. The units failed will determine if such students will probate, repeat, or be withdrawn entirely.
The proceeding Cumulative Grade Point Average (C.G.P.A) must not fall below a certain level, which may lead to probation, repeat, or withdrawal.
Conditions Guiding Year Two Pharmacy And Beyond
Two hundred level has rules that are more stringent. The CGPA requirements for proceeding is higher. In addition, the minimum number of courses that must be passed will increase.
The difficulty is compounded by the fact that the pass mark for most courses is 50 % while 60 % for some few ones.
The program for each university can be divided into two.
In receipt program, there are requirements to proceed to the next level from 200 level. There is a minimum number of units or courses, which must be passed before a student, will be allowed to write a receipt examination. A receipt examination is like a second chance where a student will be given examination in the course(s) he failed. When a student fails any course, he/she will be asked to receipt those examinations. In such a case, the student will be given an examination on the courses failed at the end of the session. All receipt examinations must be passed with a 50 % mark. Failing one will lead to repeat of the whole level taking all the courses for that level. This includes those courses that have been passed.
Failure to proceed to the next level at the second attempt will lead to withdrawal from the faculty. If a student proceeds after repeating a level, he can still be allowed to repeat the next level. However, such a student will not be allowed to repeat that level again if he fails. That means that a student cannot repeat a level twice but can repeat each level once till graduation.
If the student failed more than the minimum that is allowed for a receipt program, he will be asked to repeat the whole of that level. This includes taking courses again including those that were failed or not.
There is the last set which includes having failed a lot of the courses. Such students will be shown the way out.
This is the most common program in most schools of pharmacy today. I doubt if any pharmacy university still runs receipt program. If they do, they will be few.
This program is similar to the one of receipt. The only difference is that the failed course will be carried over to the next year. Like the receipt program, there is a minimum amount of unit that must be passed before a student will be allowed to proceed. Once a students get the units number, he will proceed only to write the examinations of those courses the next year with the current level courses.
If the number of failed courses exceed the minimum number the faculty stated for probation, such a student would repeat that level. The but here is that he will register ONLY courses failed and some few courses in the next level.
There are also instances where a student may fail more than that. In that case, the student will repeat the whole of that level including the entire course that he passed and failed.
When the student failed almost all the courses and falls into any of the probate, repeats or withdraw category, there will not be any second chance, as he will ask to withdraw from the faculty.
Just like in receipt program, failure to proceed to the next level at the second attempt will lead to withdrawal from the faculty. If a student proceeds after repeating a level, he can still be allowed to repeat the next level. However, such a student will not be allowed to repeat that level again if he fails. That means that a student cannot repeat a level twice but can repeat each level once till graduation.
A Little Tip
These are some of the laws in schools of pharmacy in Nigeria. They may be the reason why the pharmacy is considered one of the tough courses in the world. However, people have succeeded so there is no magic about it. If you want to, you will succeed.
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