PCL Medical Courses (Proficiency Certificate Level) is a program to sponsor the education of young SLC/SEE/Grade 10 graduates who want to take up a career in the health sector and give back to the community they are from. The project’s goal is to help mostly girls stand on their own feet and turn them into an earning member of the family. The project aims to provide an opportunity for rural girls to achieve financial independence, confidence and an overall sense of well-being. But the project isn’t limited to girls only; in the near future young boys who want to work as a health professional will also be included.
About the Courses:
Under this program, only medical courses are available for candidates to choose from. The courses are of Proficiency Certificate Level (PCL). The PCL courses are professional, universally acknowledged and based on practical training. The curriculum is community-oriented (meaning: focusing on the health problems/issues occurring or existing in communities), has integrated teaching learning of the various subjects and encourages problem-based learning. The objective of the courses is to produce mid-level medical workforce which can perform various preventive, diagnostic, curative or rehabilitative roles.
The PCL courses are available for SLC/SEE students (School Leaving Certificate / Secondary Education Examination) or 10th grade pass outs. The duration is for 3.5 years: 3 years for studies and 6 months to prepare and give the examination for the license from the respective council bodies. The courses are designed and monitored by Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT).
The courses that the candidates can study in are as follows:
- PCL in Nursing
- PCL in Medical Science (Physiotherapy)
- PCL in General Medicine-Health Assistant
- PCL in Medical Lab Technology
- PCL in Diagnostic Radiography
- PCL in Ophthalmic Science
- PCL in Dental Science
- PCL in Pharmacy
There is no fixed college/institute and location for the selected candidates to study. It will depend on where they want to study, where they are able to pass in their entrance exam and where their relatives are staying. Our selected candidates from the years 2019 and 2020 are currently studying at various colleges in Kathmandu and Bharatpur.
In a developing country like Nepal where the number of medical experts is not enough, pursuing a medical career is a good strategy as the chances of being employed after completion of the course are high.
There are many students who wish to take up higher studies but are unable to do so due to lack of funds. In Gorkha District, the project areas of our many projects, many bright young minds are toiling in the fields instead of attending schools or colleges just because their families lack the resources to send them to good schools and colleges in the city. If given a chance, these students can make a positive difference in their lives as well as their communities. The scholarship will be granted to those deserving female students wishing to take up a career in the medical sector. They should have passed School Leaving Certificate (SLC) / Secondary Education Examination (SEE) with excellence.
The scholarship program will achieve the following goals:
- Prevention of early marriages of the sponsored girls as well as boys.
- Adding the number of health professionals in rural Gorkha villages (a very large number of health professionals in Nepal are concentrated in cities and as a result the rural areas suffer).
- The skills and knowledge gained in the course will further motivate them to apply for higher level education (Bachelor and Master in their field).
- Helping the sponsored girls & boys and their families to uplift their financial status and therefore their living conditions.
- Helping to transform the girls and boys into working independent professionals.
- Higher-educated and working women and men, enabled through this program, will go onto run their family properly.
- It will have an overall effect of better health situation of the rural Gorkha villages.
- Getting higher education in a prestigious medical field will boost up the confidence of both girls and boys.
To get accepted in our scholarship program, the students must match our selection criteria.
- The eligible candidates must have achieved at least C grade in Compulsory Mathematics, Science and English, and overall GPA of 2.0 in their SLC/SEE (School Leaving Certificate) / Secondary Education Examination exam (The minimum requirement is GPA 2.0 but the higher GPA they secure in their SEE exam, the higher chance they have to get through the entrance exam). This is also the admission criteria followed by the colleges and institutes. This is because the PCL medical courses are rather difficult and complicated for those students who don’t secure the required grades and above in their SLC/SEE exam. We want to ensure that once the candidates are enrolled in their chosen medical course, they don’t drop out because it is beyond their intellectual capacity.
- The candidates will have to submit their SLC/SEE and higher secondary school transcripts.
- Family background will be taken into account as our main priority is the candidates belonging to poor and disadvantaged backgrounds from rural areas.
For accommodation, the selected candidates have three options. They can choose any that is suitable to them. The options are:
- Stay at hostel: Many colleges have their own hostels for their students. The selected candidates can choose to stay in the college hostel. If the college doesn’t have its own hostel, the candidates can stay in the hostel that is nearest to the college.
- Rent your own room: The candidates can live on their own by renting a room or two in a locality nearby their college. A lot of young students who move to big cities usually rent their own room.
- Live with relatives: If the candidates have their relatives in their chosen city such as Kathmandu, Bharatpur or any other city, they can choose to stay with their relatives. This can be a great option for candidates who don’t want to live alone.
Payback to the Community:
Despite the presence of many such institutions to study medicine and health related subjects in South Asia, the health condition of Nepal is not improving because most medicine and health professionals like doctors, nurses, lab technicians, midwives, pharmacists, etc choose to work either in an urban area or fly abroad. Due to the lack of experts, many people suffer in villages and many lose their lives. People lose their life due to minor diseases like dysentery, diarrhea, fever, typhoid, let alone forget about surgeries and therapies. Because of this, the condition of health in rural area remains same. Keeping such things in mind we have come up with a plan that the sponsored students for the PCL medical courses will have to sign a legal contract (MoU – Memorandum of Understanding) with Sambhav Nepal before enrolling in the college. The contract will abide them to serve in a rural health post of their village or any village within their rural municipality for at least six months within two years after the completion of their course. The selected candidates are free to choose the time. As such, if they are offered a job in hospitals, clinics or to study further, they can plan as per their best opportunities. We do not want to hinder any working chances they get and want to pursue.
APRIL PROGRESS UPDATE – 2021 (LATEST UPDATE)
Nepal is going under another lockdown due to the increase in cases caused by the new variants of Covid-19. As a result, the learning for all levels, faculties and steams have moved online. The students who are studying various medical courses under this project are also attending classes via the Internet. They are studying online and proceeding in their respective courses via the laptops supplied by us to them for their ease.
NOVEMBER PROGRESS UPDATE – 2020
In the second year of the PCL Medical Courses program, we have also selected 5 girls based on our selection criteria. All of them come from poor families in Gorkha district. They all gave the entrance exam conducted by Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) and got accepted to their chosen courses and colleges. This year the entrance exam and the studies are late because of the disturbance caused by lockdown and Covid-19.
Out of 5 selected students:
- 1 is studying PCL in Pharmacy at School of Medical Sciences, Kathmandu
- 1 is studying PCL in Pharmacy at Shahid Smarak Jana Swasthya College, Kathmandu
- 1 is studying PCL in Nursing at College of Medical Sciences, Bharatpur
- 2 are studying PCL in Medical Lab Technology at College of Medical Sciences, Bharatpur
Because of Covid-19, their colleges haven’t started in-person classes right now. But the studies are conducted via virtual classes. We have provided one each laptop for all 5 of them (5 laptops in total) so that they can join the classes and continue their courses from the safety and comfort of their own home.
PROGRESS UPDATE – 2019
In 2019, the first year of the PCL Medical Courses program, we selected 5 girls from poor background, all of whom are from Gorkha district. They gave their entrance exam conducted by Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) and got accepted into their chosen course and college.
Out of 5 selected students:
- 1 is studying PCL in Nursing at National Academy of Medical Sciences (Bir Hospital), Kathmandu
- 1 is studying PCL in Nursing at Chitwan Academy for Technical Education, Bharatpur
- 3 are studying PLC in Medical Science (Physiotherapy) at Nepalese Army Institute of Health Sciences, Kathmandu
Because of Covid-19, they don’t have in-person classes right now. Their colleges are conducting virtual classes. We have provided one each laptop for all 5 of them (5 laptops in total) so that they can join the classes and continue their studies from the safety and comport of their own home.
Note: Due to privacy reasons, we prefer not to post the details and photos of the individual students in our website. All are from poor rural families and some are the victims of the Nepalese Civil War (1996-2006). The donors have the necessary details of the students.