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Monday July 22, 2024

Irregular education

By Editorial Board
June 23, 2024
The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) building seen in this image. — APP File
The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) building seen in this image. — APP File

We are not known for being sticklers to the law much. Whether on the roads, or at work, or in business – or even in education – Pakistanis seem to think rules and laws are important only in their breaking. Take the stubbornness shown by 15 medical and dental colleges that had been categorically asked by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) not to admit new students for the 2023-24 session. Naturally, these institutions decided to follow their whims and offered admissions to around 1200 students, putting their future at risk. According to the National Health Services (NHS), these colleges were ‘provisionally recognized’ and allowed by the erstwhile Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) to conduct admissions for only the 2019-20 and 2020-21 sessions. The reason for this provisional recognition was that the colleges had not fully complied with the regulations.

We all know what will happen now. The template is so clear. Poor students who have no role in this controversy will find out that their degrees are not recognized by the higher education institution, impeding their career and growth prospects. The case will make news headlines for a couple of weeks, and then the matter will die down, with no one showing concern for the affected students. Amid all this, college owners and those running these institutions will continue drawing fat pay packages. Medicine is a noble profession, and any irregularities found in institutions responsible for producing future healthcare professionals place a big question mark on the competence and ability of the graduates so produced. Those who look for shortcuts for running their institutions can well be assumed to be looking for shortcuts when conducting learning sessions.

The get-out-of-jail free card that the state continues to extend to violators must be done away with, once and for all. All students and their parents/guardians must be informed about the institutions’ status and told that either they try to arrange transfers for their children or let the students continue their studies at their own risk. Policymakers and children’s parents must realize that the world is moving at a fast pace, and there perhaps will be no chances for us to undo the mistakes we made. There has to be a loud and clear voice across the country: no compromise on education. Our students and young people deserve good learning experiences in institutions that are not marred by controversies. This is an opportunity for course correction.