BUJUMBURA Apr 19th (ABP) – The Minister of National Education and Scientific Research, Dr François Havyarimana, has just reassured the graduates of the Faculty of Medicine that the diploma awarded to them in the BMD system (Baccalaureate-Master-Doctorate) is equivalent to the degree of doctor of medicine issued in the old system, but that its name will be specified by decree.
This is the content of Minister Havyarimana’s letter of April 14, 2022, in response to several letters addressed to him by the Ministers of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS and that of Public Service, Labor and Employment, the chairperson of the SYNAPA union, health professionals and the students of the 35th and 36th promotions of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Burundi.
Minister Havyarimana also indicated that a technical team will soon be set up to reflect on the denomination of the diplomas issued at the end of the special cycles in accordance with the international standards currently in force. He also underlined in that correspondence that in accordance with articles 15 and 20 and 34 of law N° 1/07 of October 29, 2020 on the reorganization and revision of law N° 1/22 of December 30, 2011 on the reorganization of higher education in Burundi, medical studies are part of the studies which have their specificities and whose diplomas issued at the end of the training confer academic titles under conditions fixed by decree.
The graduates of the faculty of medicine had written a letter of dispute that their diploma obtained after six years of university training was called baccalaureate. It is inconceivable according to them that their diplomas are named like those of the finalists of the other faculties while they obtain them after three years of study. Moreover, those medical students say that they are doing exactly the same program as their peers before the BMD system, the only difference being that the 7-year program has been condensed into 6 years in the BMD. Moreover, they add that after six years they present their thesis while those from other faculties only submit an internship report.
The medical students contacted to find out if they are satisfied with the minister’s letter say that they cannot say if they are satisfied and that they are waiting for the denomination that will be given to their diploma because, they continue to say, an inadequate denomination can hinder their future because as it constitutes a handicap in the continuation of their studies in other countries. They also believe that their remuneration may suffer from employers other than the State.