He was lost in a deep thought with a pencil in his teeth. Autumn had begun and yellow leaves were falling from the trees in Jinnah Garden and turning the greenery yellow. The sounds of birds perched on the trees were breaking the deep silence in the air. But he was indifferent to the whole scene, sitting on a bench near the cafeteria a short distance from the Quaid-e-Azam Library. I walked over to him. At first glance, I thought he was an artist, but with the books he had and his age, it was difficult to form an opinion about him. I saw it and moved on. When I got there again after some time, he was sitting on the same bench, engrossed in thoughts. He had no interest in the cool air, the yellow leaves, the smell of soil and the chirping of birds. I couldn’t stop myself and went and sat next to him. Seventeen or eighteen year old boy and so upset? The story was beyond my comprehension. He started a conversation to get her attention. The story that this boy told after that was definitely very painful.
From day one in Pakistan, children are shown a dream, a dream of a better future. The dream of serving the nation and the hope to move forward. Children move forward with this dream. These children have only one desire to grow up to be a doctor. These children try to pass with distinction marks in each class, their grades are better so that they are able to get admission in medical college.
For many years, there was a separate curriculum in each province for medical college examinations in the country. The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council was set up to supervise them, which has now been dissolved and handed over to the Pakistan Medical Commission, while the responsibility of examinations has been given to the National University of Health Sciences. As soon as the new system took over, new experiments began. At present, 1.5 million students have been the victims of these experiments. Disappointed with their future, these boys and girls are in dire straits. FSc and A level students across the country are currently suffering from severe mental anguish.
The students who were dreaming of becoming doctors, for the interpretation of which they prepared well in FSc and A level examinations, despite getting good marks, they are worried about getting admission in medical college. The main reason for their concern is the changes made in the syllabus by the PMDC for the examination method and admission in medical colleges.
According to the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) law, for the first time this year, students across the country will take the same entrance test. According to the law, everyone has to take this exam under the same syllabus. But the problem is that to this day, the curriculum of every province and every institution is different. The Sahaga PMC has announced a date of November 15 for the exams, but the syllabus has now been released, with less than a month left in the exams. Students fear that what they have been studying for six months will put their future at stake if none of them pass the exam.
The PMC issued a statement on October 5 in which it informed the students, among other things, that the National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) would conduct examinations for the medical entrance test and all students would be issued by NIMS Prepare according to the curriculum. The decision drew reactions from all provinces, due to possible differences in topics in the curriculum. The PMC then announced on October 7 that no part or subject would be included in the Medical and Dental College Admission Test that was separate or additional from the existing curriculum at the provincial level. However, the students expressed displeasure over the curriculum that was released. According to him, this curriculum is actually the curriculum of the National University of Medical Sciences, which has been copied.
In an effort to bring medical education in Pakistan to international standards, the government has made appointments within the PMC on ‘political’ grounds and hasty and deliberate decisions are being made which are being changed over and over again. , Which is causing mental anguish for students. There are only five demands of students protesting against the government’s measures. Students demand that provincial MDCAT or entrance test be restored. If the provincial test is not possible, then a joint syllabus should be given under the auspices of the University of Health Sciences, ie a syllabus should be given which is in accordance with the syllabus of the four provinces. Namaz University has announced the date of the entrance test but the students are demanding that the date of the test be postponed so that they can prepare for the test. The fourth demand of the students is related to unequal distribution of numbers. According to the students, due to corona virus, FSC examinations could not be held this year and the boards passed the students by giving 3% grace marks. This decision is tantamount to an injustice to the students who succeeded last year. The last and most important demand of the students is that the Pakistan Medical Commission should meet the student representatives and address their concerns.
The Pakistan Medical Commission has been controversial since its inception. There are young doctors who refuse to follow the rules of the commission. As for the members of the commission, it is an attempt to reward their own people rather than improve the medical field. There are also questions on the National Licensing Exam. Many students are trying to leave the country because of the PMC’s behavior. The PMC was supposed to conduct the first entry test after its inception, but already controversial decisions in the exam have cast doubt on the institution’s role.
There is a need for the government to include medical experts in the commission and make decisions in the public interest instead of rewarding them. If the government cannot improve the medical field, a law should be enacted to ban medical education.
Special Thanks to: Express.PK
Sayed Amjad Hossein Bukhari
Blogger is a PhD scholar in media studies. He is associated with a private TV channel as a senior research officer. Trying to write on political, social and societal issues.