LAHORE: Large-scale scam in Punjab’s Medical & Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT) is being described as “Pakistan’s biggest education scandal” having serious large scale repercussions, calling into question the quality of medical education and the qualifications of some recently graduated doctors. Alleged involvement of senior level officials including University of Health Sciences VC and deputy controller of examinations also questions appointment policy of the Punjab government.
The scam reportedly continued since seven years.
Think how much illegal admissions are made into medical colleges and how much bogus doctors are given to the society?
Interestingly, Government of the Punjab, instead of abolishing this hotbed of corruption, announced its retake although enquiries in this regard are still underway. Retake of test is another favour of Punjab government for academy mafia to collect fees afresh from students.
A Lahore based academy in this regard announced new preparatory classes with new fees. Earlier they charged upto 35,000 and now they announced 3,000 for old students and 9,000 from fresh students.
There were heavy hues and cries against this test since its beginning but mafia behind its inception always stopped such voices. Now, even after shameful revelations about the test, government of the Punjab insistent to continue it.
While introducing the test, it was claimed that the test will not only promote merit but also help deprived and intelligent students to get admission in medical colleges. But it proved to be helpful for richer students who managed to get question papers before examination. It also laid foundation of huge corruption at mass level.
Even employees of UHS started their own preparation centers where they not only snatch huge money from students in the name of tuition fees but also leak papers and get heavy bribe.
A large number of students and their parents once again demanded that government must abolish admission test. They were of the view that it is an additional financial burden over the shoulders of parents and students as academies charge huge money for preparation. Some of the academies charge 35000 whereas some even charge 50,000 for MCAT preparation. Retake of entry test will again benefit this mafia as they started enrollment for new test preparation session.
MDCAT entry test retake has also put future of thousands of students at stake as admission to public sector colleges and universities has already closed.
Those who will not qualify this entry test will be at the mercy of private colleges and universities who charge heavy fees which is not affordable for poor students.
Two officials of UHS, allegedly involved in scam, have been sent on forced leave. More than 20 officials including students and doctors have been arrested by FIA. FIR against four officials and their fellows has been lodged at Muslim Town Police Station. New date for retest has been announced as 29th October, 2017. New Interim VC UHS declared emergency in the university and cancelled leaves of all officials. Advertisement for hiring of permanent VC has also been published in national dailies. It is also revealed that alleged officials used bank accounts of other persons. Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) officials also said that MDCAT has lost its moral grounds. The Educationist Pakistan has decided to go to court for cancellation of the MDCAT retest.
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