FSc wins out over A-Levels in Punjab medical entry test
Lahore, Oct 01: The Inter-Board Conversion Committee (IBCC) formula is discriminatory towards A-Level students seeking admission to medical colleges in Punjab, a number of students said.
The IBCC enumerates eight O-Level and three A-Level subjects and converts the grades into marks to equate it with the 1,100 marks out of which FSc students are marked. The IBCC gives 85 marks for an A grade, 75 marks for a B, 65 for a C, 55 for a D and 45 for an E. According to this formula, if a student gets straight As, he or she will be awarded 935 out of 1,100 marks. Since there is no grade higher than an A, a student obtaining 89 percent or even 99 percent marks will get only 935 marks as per the current formula. Due to this practice, the chances for A-Level students to secure admission in medical institutions become very slim, and for the very reason, discouraging A-Level students from sitting the medical entry test.
"My cousin scored 7 As in his A-Level exams but could not get admission to a medical college. I learnt from his mistake and sacrificed my dream of sitting the A-Levels so I could go to medical school," Khansa Ahmed, a third year student at King Edward Medical University (KEMU) said. She said that out of 150 female students in her class, only two had an A-Level background and were accepted on merit.According to data provided by the University of Health Sciences, more than 18,000 students sat the entry test for MBBS programme last year and only 488 of them were A-Level students. However, only 13 could make it to the medical institutions, making it a mere 2.6 percent of the A-level students and 0.07 percent of all students. This year, more than 20,000 students appeared in the medical entry test and only 593 were A-Level students.
Due to this trend, many parents discourage their children from applying through the A-Level results. "I wanted my son to be a doctor so I enrolled him into an Fsc programme," said Dr Farooq. "Why should one risk one's career when it is so obvious that it is almost impossible for A-Level students to get admission (in a medical college) under this system," he added.
Allama Iqbal Medical College Principal Dr Javed Akram said that the IBCC formula "downgraded and discredited" A-Level students. He said he had recommended against the current practice at different forums several times. He said the original marks given at the back of the result card should be considered instead of the current formula. He said fewer A-Level students applied to medical institutions due to this discriminatory practice, which should be changed.
KEMU Vice-Chancellor (VC) Dr Zafarullah Khan said the conversion formula should be changed but not to the disadvantage of FSc students. He said the matriculation/FSc and O/A-Level were two parallel systems catering to two different sections of society.
The former gives education to the middle and poor classes, while only rich kids get enrolled in the latter, he said, adding there was no dearth of talent in both systems. He said FSc students were better trained to attempt essay-type questions, while A-Level students performed better in the multiple choice questions (MCQs).
He said the conversion formula had been devised when the FSc topper used to score around 935 marks. He said the government should not ignore the plight of the FSc pool, which represented the poor and middle classes. To a question on how to resolve the issue, Dr Khan said a practically acceptable solution would be to make a three percent increase at maximum, giving 88 marks for A grade. He criticised the suggestion demanding 995 marks after conversion and said it should not be more than 970 marks.
IBCC Secretary Ramzan Achakzai refused to comment on the issue despite being contacted several times. Daily times
Punjab medical entrance test controversy
Lahore: The A-Level students have criticised the University of Health Sciences administration for irregularities and out-of-course questions in medical entrance test that barred them to get admissions to public medical/dental colleges in the province.
"Not even a single A-Level student has been able to score enough marks to secure admission to any government medical college on the basis of the entrance test," the affected A-Level candidates said during a press conference at the Lahore Press Club here on Wednesday.
They said that, prior to the entrance test, the UHS administration had informed the FSc and A-Level students that the test would consist of questions based on their syllabi and A-Level syllabus was also uploaded on the UHS website. However, the students said, over 25 questions in all four sections of paper, given to A-Level candidates, were out of the A-Level syllabus as provided on the website. The students protested the matter outside the examination centre but they were not heard.
The A-Level students said a numerical in the Physics section were not solvable without the use of a calculator, which was not allowed in the entrance test although it was allowed in the Cambridge University A-Level exams. They claimed about 30 minutes less time was given to some A-Level students during the entrance test.
They also mentioned another irregularity whereby the answer key for FSc test was changed after irregularities and errors were discovered in it by the parents and students of FSc, however, no such checking was done for any of the A-Level students.
The A-Level students have demanded appropriate compensation for out-of-course questions or such question as were unsolvable without a calculator. They also demanded that a transparent committee, comprising experienced A-Level teachers and educationists, should be tasked with reviewing the entrance test questions.
It may be mentioned that earlier, the affected A-Level candidates along with their families had staged a demonstration outside the Lahore Press Club the other day, demanding the authorities remove the out-of-course questions and given A-Level students adequate compensation in the entrance test. They vowed to continue their protest till their complaints were addressed. The newsYour Comments
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PAL launched 'Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Award'
Islamabad: Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) is launching "Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Award" on the books written on former prime minister and chairperson of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Benazir Bhutto (BB) in different regional languages of Pakistan.
PAL Chairman Fakhar Zaman announced this here on Wednesday while addressing to media at a press briefing. He said the award comprising Rs 0.1 million cash would be given to the poetry or prose book written on BB during 2008 and 2009.
He said the martyrdom of BB was a huge loss and her killing was condemned at national and international levels. He said writers from all Pakistani languages had paid tributes to her in their own way so PAL has decided to confer one award for the book on prose or poem in Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, Seraiki and English.
He said juries comprising renowned intellectuals would select a book from every language for the award. He requested the writers to send 10 copies of each book to PAL for participating in "Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Award".
He said BB Shaheed was not only a great politician but she was respected as a writer and intellectual all over the world. He said her books enjoyed a special place among intellectuals. Daily times
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PPSC recommended for lectureship
Lahore: The Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) has recommended 57 candidates for appointment to the posts of Lecturer Islamiat (Female) BS-17 in the Punjab Education Department's Higher Education Wing. The news
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