Voicing serious concerns about the Medical & Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT), the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has demanded its abolition as according to PMA Officials, the ‘un-required test’ is mere a mental torture to students and their parents.
It is pertinent to mention here that it was decided in 1998 to take MDCAT as an aptitude test of students willing to take admission in Medical and Dental Colleges following the completion of their FSc program.
However in a panel discussion, PMA Officials, doctors, educational experts and other concerned were of the view that MDCAT was non-mandatory, arguing that it is rather tantamount to educational terrorism and financial fraud.
The panel included President PMA Centre Professor Dr Muhammad Ashraf Nizami, President PMA Punjab Dr Izhar Ahmad Chaudhry, President PMA Lahore Professor Dr Ajmal Hassan Naqvi, Finance Secretary PMA Punjab Dr Aleem Nawaz, General Secretary Dr Wajid Ali, Joint Secretary PMA Lahore Dr Irum Shahzadi, Dr Tanvir Anwar and Dr Shahid Malik among others.
The panel was of the view that MDCAT is conducted by the University of Health Sciences (UHS), which has no link with any Examination Board of Punjab.
It said that annually Rs 6 billion is earned from the people in the name of examination and preparation by the UHS and private academies.
The paned also alleged that papers of such absurd and unnecessary test (MDCAT) is leaked and sold in market with the joint collaboration of some academies and high level officials.
In his remarks, the President PMA Punjab Dr Izhar Ahmad Chaudhry demanded that all those officials including the academies’ mafias, who looted billions of rupees from the poor people, must be held accountable.
Dr Izhar Chaudhry also questioned the structure of MDCAT, saying that it is very hard to fulfill all given questions in the proscribed time.
The President PMA Punjab said that students are allegedly already apprised about questions a day before the test is to be conducted – which, he added, is injustice to students.
In addition, Dr Izhar said that the UHS doesn’t even have a regular Vice Chancellor since February 2017, and the University is being run by non-efficient people.
Dr Izhar said that since a proper system of paper checking, central marking and stick monitoring has been enforced in Punjab; therefore, conducting MDCAT is nothing but a vain practice and a burden on students/parents.
Dr Izhar Chaudhry also lauded the Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for forming a fact-finding Committee about paper leakage.