EDUCATION is a basic and undeniable right of every citizen. State guarantees providing education to its citizens irrespective of financial hardship and constraints.
I believe this universal truth has been overlooked by Quaid-i-Azam University in formulating its admission criterion. In its announcement for admission to the MPhil programme, the criterion set is blatantly refusing admission to the majority of students. The admission criterion is first division in MA/MSc or in BA/BSc but no third division in MA/MSc or in BA/BSc or at least 55 per cent marks in BSc (Hons). In case of a third division in FA/FSc, the applicant should have first division in both BA/BSc and MA/MSc.
Such criterion clearly conveys a message that the university is meant for the best of the best. This standard is fairly good for maintaining high quality of education for which the university is known.
But it discourages a majority of students who mainly come from different backgrounds and remote areas where they receive education in pathetic government-run schools.
If third division is considered such a pariah, then the HEC should formulate a homogeneous system where the passing criterion should be to attain at least 50 per cent marks for all universities. This consequently will eliminate the issue of third division for I believe that it is a heinous act that a student should be allowed to pass in third division but later all doors for further education and good employment are closed on him.
The Quaid-i-Azam University is a state-owned university and should be opened for everybody. A reasonable criterion that the university can follow should be to allow every student, who fulfils the basic requirement of a degree from a recognised university, to at least apply for admission.
The university can then conduct either written test or GAT. The admission should be granted on the basis of performance in written test/GAT plus commutative marks in all previous qualifications.
Unfortunately, the dilemma is that the university has a quota system but no quota or seats are reserved for the residents of Islamabad holding domicile where the university is originally situated. This leaves the students of Islamabad highly demotivated and depressed.It is the prime responsibility of the state to eliminate such discrimination and ensure education is provided to all citizens. There is a dire need to improve literacy in the country which is the lowest even among Saarc countries.
In case the government ignores this, then it is obligatory for the citizens of this country to battle this discrimination moving the apex court from where they will surely get justice.
AAMIR IQBAL Islamabad