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Graduate pharmacists face problems joining syndicate

1. JPA Lower House
A meeting of the Lower House Education and Youth Committee, headed by MP Bilal Al-Momani, on August 31, 2021. (Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — Students who obtain a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy but do not hold a scientific branch general secondary certificate cannot legally become members of the Jordan Pharmacists Association (JPA). This was the topic of discussion at the meeting of the Parliamentary Education and Youth Committee on Sunday.اضافة اعلان

Around 70 students who obtained a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy after obtaining an intermediate university degree and those who graduated from secondary school with a non-scientific diploma are facing a real dilemma, the committee heard, as they are unable to join the JPA and practice.

The meeting was headed by the head of the Lower House committee, MP Bilal Al-Momani, in the presence of the head of the Legislation and Opinion Bureau Fidaa Al-Hamoud, and the JPA council.

According to an amendment to the JPA Law of 2015, the affiliate “must hold a general secondary school certificate in the scientific branch, or its equivalent, with the exception of those who started studying before the provisions of this amended law came into force.”

Momani told Jordan News that the problem concerns students who were in school before the last amendment to the association’s law — that is students who were still in school before 2015. Students who were studying a non-scientific branch and students who were studying an intermediate diploma specializing in pharmacy are considered among the students who are “still studying”, according to the amended law.

Momani said that the association asked the Legislation and Opinion Bureau for an explanation of the amended article, which stipulates that pharmacists are required to obtain a general secondary certificate in the scientific branch in order to practice their profession.  

He said it was agreed at the meeting that the JPA would send another question to the bureau on the subject of intermediate diplomas. Students who get weak high school scores do not go straight to university but go to college to earn their intermediate degree before going on to earn their four year degree, a practice known as “bridging”. The question will ask the bureau to clarify whether or not bridging will be counted as part of the study period.

“All opinions were positive, and a legislative solution will be found by addressing the concerned authority — the Legislation and Opinion Bureau — in order for those who have obtained a pharmacy degree through bridging or with a general secondary certificate in a non-scientific branch, to join the association and practice their profession,” Momani said.

During the meeting, Momani said that the committee reached an initial solution as a prelude to fundamentally solving this issue, noting that the parliamentary committee is concerned with overcoming all difficulties faced by students.  
The deputy called for the need to reconsider the regulations and laws and for coordination between the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and professional associations.

Hamoud said during the meeting that the association’s law prevents students from joining the association, as the text requires the student to have a scientific branch certificate or its equivalent, with the exception of those who enrolled in university studies before the law came into force in 2015.  

She added that professional syndicates are the best and most capable of knowing the problems facing their members and respective professions, explaining that after listening to opinions, the Legislation and Opinion Bureau have no objection to solving the problem. 

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