Questioned about what appears to be false advertising, Texila American University (TAU) is claiming that its social media accounts were hacked.
Last week an advertisement for the Medical Programme of TAU which appeared on social media site Instagram invited potential students to “study MD in a CAAM-HP approved university” however TAU’s Medical Doctor Degree programme is not approved by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP).
According to CAAM-HP’s website the only medical programme accredited in Guyana is that offered by the University Of Guyana School Of Medicine.
The site also stresses that while some medical schools claim to be adhering to CAAM-HP’s accreditation standards such references should not be interpreted to mean that the CAAM-HP has accredited or approved these programmes.
“The programmes assessed and accredited by the CAAM-HP are listed in the accreditation list,” it is explained. Additionally the authority notes that it expects that all promotional material, electronic or otherwise, accurately reflect the institution’s current accreditation status.
TAU appears to be well aware of these provision. In response to Stabroek News’ enquiry the university noted that they are “very well aware of the norms that we should not use the name of CAAM-HP in any of our posts or advertisements until the accreditation results have been announced.”
“Texila American University follows and sticks to its principles and morally, socially and ethically we would never do such false advertising,” the university further said.
Asked about the origin of the ad, Assistant Registrar –Operations, Sreebalakumar told this newspaper that “the Texila account seems to have been hacked.”
“We have raised a complaint on the same and our Cyber team is closely monitoring other accounts of Texila to avoid such infiltration. We have asked our team to work closely with relevant office to investigate this matter further,” the emailed response said.
The issue of accreditation of Medical Programmes in Guyana has for years been a sore issue with several universities and medical schools appearing and disappeared leaving exploited students behind.
TAU was accused of a similar occurrence in 2016 at which point then Technical Facilitator within the Ministry of Education Vincent Alexander in a letter to the editor noted that the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) of the USA recognizes the authenticity of the quality assurance process of the National Accreditation Council and accepts medical schools that are registered by the National Accreditation Council.
He added that the NAC further stated that “Texila American University is listed with the ECFMG which allows students and graduates of the institution to apply for ECFMG certification and the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).”