Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 7. 1965.
Pharmacy Standard Low
Pharmacy Standard Low
Many readers of Salient will be interested to read about a student body that has more cause for dissatisfaction than those at the Universities.
The Education Department has a place of learning at Petone called the Central Institute of Technology. Primarily it offers parttime courses to workers in various trades and technical occupations.
In the late 1950s the NZ Pharmacy Board realised that the training of Pharmacists under the apprenticeship system then in operation was of the lowest standard in the world. They asked for a University Degree course for retail Pharmacists. The Government refused.
In desperation the Board was forced to accept an unsatisfactory two-year course of training to be held at the Central Institute of Technology. The New Zealand School of Pharmacy now operates as a department of the Technological Institute.
There are places for 75 students in each year of the course, but the overall pass rate which has been stated as being about 40 per cent is too low to provide full staffing for the 2000 dispensaries in New Zealand.
The first year of the course is supposed to be similar to medical intermediate. The second year covers the professional subjects: Microbiology; Pharmaceutics—the compounding of medicines; Pharmacology—the action and use of drugs; Pharmacognosy—study of naturally occurring drugs; and Pharmaceutical Chemistry. This leads to the Pharmaceutical Chemist's qualifying examination, and after two further years of practical experience a student is eligible to register as a Pharmacist.
Minimum admission requirement of the school is UE, but in recent years as many applicants have been turned away as are accepted. Applicants are not interviewed and their acceptance to the school seems to depend largely on their school certificate marks and testimonials.
Pharmacy students are granted bursaries and boarding allowances under the same conditions as if they were University students. About one-third of the students are girls—some of these live in a hostel, while most of the boys have private board.
The Students' Association is active in a small way, mostly concerned with students' facilities and social activities. The Pharmacy ru by teams have been well known since the school started for their aggressive play. As the course is fairly demanding (second-year students spend up to twenty hours per week in labs) it leaves little time for other activities.
Perhaps apathy is to be expected amongst students taking a twoyear course—best to work and get out of the place fast. In spite of this, most are interested in student opinion and support the aims of students at Victoria who are advocating better conditions and more Government support for students and the Universities. Of more concern to Pharmacy students, though, is the inadequacy of the present course at Petone.
The feeling on this matter is strong, but the action is restricted because of limited time and lack of older (graduate) student leadership. The disinterest of some Pharmacists is not encouraging either. Surely, in New Zealand's supposedly second to none public health system the Pharmacists should have the benefits of University training as in overseas countries such as South Africa, Canada, Australia and Malaysia?