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Unreasonable entry tests

Aug 20: THE medical school entry tests have become another source of dismay in our unjust and unequal education system. A most frustrating difficulty is that even some top FSc students fail in these tests. To fill this knowledge gap, the market mechanism springs to life and private academies, charging high fees, to tutor these students proliferate. They offer packages around Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000 per student. Those who come from areas away from these academies are given accommodation and food but they come at a high cost up to Rs 50,000. The fees keep rising; the academies rightly getting the blame for "fleecing" the students. However, in a way the fault does not lie with them as they are only responding to a felt need. As long as the entry test system stays intact, more academies will spring up and their fees might rise. Considering the general income level in the country, the fee is a tremendous burden on parents. Even students suffer from increased pressure to perform well.

The entry tests system comes under the education ministry, which argues that it acts as a filter for students who have cheated their way through FSc. The argument is unsustainable. Education systems are not made on the premise that students cheat the system. In that case, the system is catered to students who cheat and those who do not are the ones who get the worst hit.

The fault lies with the system that the education ministry is responsible for creating. The FSc and the examination system need to be strengthened. Paper leaks are a major source of dissatisfaction for students. Until someone who benefits from a paper leak is severely punished publicly, they will continue to contribute to misgivings about the system. Although, the Punjab Education Minister has recently given statements against the entry tests, it is uncertain whether his view would be implemented. In November 2005, the Supreme Court took action against these tests, but the verdict has yet to be put into effect. The future doctors of our country are still waiting for a solution. The nation
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