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November 15, 2020

Medical college admissions sought on FSc marks

Lahore

November 15, 2020

Islamabad : The students have given the thumbs down to the regulator’s move to make them sit a centralised test for admission to the countrywide medical colleges and demanded enrolment in the sought-after courses on the basis of the marks secured in the intermediate exam.

Having burnt the midnight oil for over two years to score high in F.Sc exam, they fear that their hard work will go to waste due to the Pakistan Medical Commission’s MDCAT decision and the subsequent litigation.

A student told ‘The News’ that the best way forward was to award the medical college admissions on the basis of F.Sc marks, something that used to happen before the introduction of entry tests for the purpose.

“Hundreds of thousands of our doctors and dentists work in the country and abroad, who had got admission to medical colleges after securing good marks in intermediate exam. Why are such brilliant students being denied that opportunities, now? Holding entry tests after F.Sc exam is tantamount to questioning the credibility of our examination system,” she said.

The student said admission on the basis of F.Sc marks would acknowledge the years’ long hard work of students and ensure the early start of online classes.

She also feared that asking thousands of students for in-person entry test would contribute to the spread of coronavirus, especially at a time when the second wave of the infection had already set the alarm bells ringing.

Another student feared that the ongoing legal battle between the PMC, universities and other institutions could cause the waste of precious time of him and others, who should have been in the medical college by now attending classes online due to the pandemic like majority of other students enrolled in regular schools, colleges and universities.

Kiran Syed, whose son aspires to enrol in a medical college, complained about the repeated cancellation of entry test and said his son was so disheartened that he had stopped preparing for the test.

“In order to ease the misery of young aspirants, I want authorities to think about the award of medical college admissions on the basis of FSc marks as was the practice earlier. This is the best choice available during the pandemic times to save their precious time and future,” she said.

When contacted, PMC vice-president Ali Raza said it was mandatory under the law to sit the MDCAT to get admission to medical colleges or secure licence to practice.

“The MDCAT has to be taken [by students].”

The PMC vice-president also said the MDCAT ensured the calculation of the students’ proper merit especially when there was high variance in the countrywide FSc exam results.

He said the MDCAT hadn’t been cancelled.

“The Sindh High Court has only delayed it [test] and ordered the notification of the academic board by the federal government to recommend medical and dental syllabus. The federal government has notified the academic board, which has 10 days to make the recommendation, which means that the MDCAT can be held on the last Sunday of November. This will, therefore, not cause any major delays as admissions were to start in last week of Nov and will now start in first week of December. No more delays,” he said.

Ali Raza said the test delay was beyond the PMC’s control as it was caused by the petitions filed by public universities in Sindh and some students.

He also said the MDCAT questions won’t be out of the course taught to students and the PMC had submitted an undertaking to the high court in that respect.