PESHAWAR: The Khyber Medical University (KMU) organised the Educational Testing and Evaluation Agency (ETEA) entrance test to public and private sector medical and dental colleges of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa simultaneously at seven different centres amid allegations of paper leak on Sunday.
The test was conducted in Islamia Collegiate School Ground Peshawar, Haripur University Haripur, Grassy Ground Saidu Sharif in Swat, Gomal Medical College new building Dera Ismail Khan, Abdul Wali Khan University Garden Campus Mardan, Cadet College Kohat and Malakand University Chakdarra, Lower Dir.
KMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Arshad Javaid established three more centres in Mardan, Kohat and Lower Dir this year to reduce the burden on the Peshawar and better facilitate local applicants in their nearest centres.
However, the Peshawar centre this year again handled a maximum number of applicants.
The test was earlier postponed due to rain in Mardan that disrupted arrangements made for the entrance test.
According to KMU, 38,062 candidates, including 23,460 male and 14,602 female students, appeared in the test at the seven centres.
The result will be announced within 24 hours and will be available on the KMU website www.kmu.edu.pk as well as on ETEA website www.etea.edu.pk.
In addition to that, the results will also be communicated to the entire candidates individually via SMS on their mobile phones through specially prepared software by IT Section of KMU.
Around 10,000 candidates appeared in the test at Islamia Collegiate School ground Peshawar whereas 5,402 students at Haripur University centre Haripur, 5,407 at Grassy Ground Saidu Sharif Swat, 3,775 at Gomal Medical College new building Dera Ismail Khan, 67,92 candidates at Abdul Wali Khan University Garden Campus Mardan, 3,251 at Cadet College Kohat and 3,435 at Malakand University Chakdarra Lower Dir appeared in the test for admission in medical and dental colleges of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Prof Dr Arshad Javaid expressed satisfaction at the overall arrangements for the test and said that increasing number of candidates for appearing in the test showed trust in the arrangements and transparent process of the test carried out jointly by KMU and ETEA.
He added that keeping in mind the huge number of candidates and to avoid logistic and managerial issues as well as to conduct the test in smooth and transparent manner, the number of test centres were increased from four to seven this year by adding three new test centres of Cadet College Kohat, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan and Malakand University Chakdarra, Lower Dir.
In Peshawar, some students and their parents complained that some of the applicants fell unconscious due to suffocation and humidity in the entrance.
Also, parents said they were not allowed to enter the premises after the test was over and they were kept waiting for hours on the main road under the scorching heat.
“I had dropped my daughter at the venue for the test early in the morning. I had to wait on the main road to pick her up after the test. It took me one and a half hours to trace her after the test,” complained Aftab Khan, father of a candidate. He suggested setting up at least one more centres in Peshawar.
Meanwhile, some of the parents and students started allegations after test and alleged that paper had been leaked days before the entrance test.
A senior physician on condition of anonymity said that his close relatives had uploaded the same paper on August 12 in Peshawar.
He said his relatives were enrolled in a coaching academy in Peshawar that arranged them the paper. His daughter, pleading anonymity, claimed that it was the same paper that her cousins had discussed with her a few days ago. However, when asked if she had seen the paper, she declined. She said her cousins had attempted 175 MCQs and were quite sure about their success.
A senior official of Education Department, however, denied these reports and termed it a malicious campaign of anti-ETEA elements.
“We hear this every year. The integrity and secrecy of entry test paper is exclusively ETEA’s domain, mandate and responsibility. The Education Department and KMU have nothing to do with it,” he said.
He said KMU’s job was to arrange the logistics for the test which were not satisfactory.
“This happens every year. Despite strict body search a student or two may manage to bring mobiles at their own risk and take a picture or two. And soon after the test they post it online to make the process suspicious,” he argued.
He said had the paper leaked a night earlier of the entrance test, someone should have posted it before the test was started.
“This kind of allegations about the ETEA paper is always after the conclusion of the test. Another interesting fact is that the academy owners used to plant some candidates only for taking pictures for them to be used later during their tuitions. Last year 5-6 students were caught with mobiles only in Peshawar centre. Since the only punishment used to be cancellation of paper hence they were not scared of the consequences,” said official of Education Department.
“In every centre, the question paper boxes are opened by ETEA officials in front of KMU & UET officials after the sealed locks are checked,” he said.
The ETEA is an autonomous body run by Board of Governors (BoG) with the governor as its chairman.
Some powerful elements are behind it and want it to be dissolved and students with the highest marks should be given admissions in the colleges.
As per PMDC criteria, students need to get 50 per cent marks in the entrance test and 40 per cent marks in their intermediate examination for admission to medical colleges. Every year, three to four students get marks between 600-800 in ETEA test and if the number of students was higher this time, it would prove that the paper was leaked.
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan took notice of these complaints and stopped ETEA from announcing results of the entrance test.
He ordered a high level inquiry to throughly probe into these complaints of the parents and applicants about leaking the paper and warned he would take stern action against those found guilty in the scam.