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Students allege questions on FCPS exam were leaked to favoured candidates

Updated April 15, 2019

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CPSP president says inquiry has begun into the complaint and the findings will be shared with public. ─ AFP/File
CPSP president says inquiry has begun into the complaint and the findings will be shared with public. ─ AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: A complaint lodged by students has raised questions about the Fellowship of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (FCPS), otherwise considered one of the most credible courses in the health sector.

College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) President Prof Zafarullah Chaudhry has said the college is very strict with such allegations and has begun an inquiry after receiving the complaint.

He told Dawn that “comments have been sought from the examination committee” and the matter has been referred to the disciplinary committee as well. He said he was hopeful that the committee would complete its investigation within a week, adding that he would then “be in a position to give a clear comment about it.”

CPSP president says inquiry has begun into complaint, findings will be shared with public

Two FCPS-II Psychiatry postgraduates have lodged a complaint (available with Dawn) alleging that multiple choice questions (MCQs) from a Feb 26 exam were leaked to favoured candidates.

They also shared evidence with the management to show that many of the questions shared with some candidates were the same as those in the question paper.

They have asked the CPSP management to declare the exam null and void, saying deserving candidates had been affected by this act of corruption, favouritism and injustice. They have also called on the management to identify those involved and take disciplinary action against them.

The students have also demanded that both the upcoming FCPS-II Psychiatry exams should be in MCQ form and examiners should be called in to mark them rather than allowing them to be marked at home or in wards or offices. They alleged that question papers are marked by examiners’ postgraduates instead of examiners themselves, which also increases chances of them being leaked.

A student claimed while speaking to Dawn that some examiners share MCQs and demand writing specimens from postgraduates so they can match their writing while marking answer sheets from theoretical exams because the CPSP removes roll numbers from answer sheets and only mentions code numbers.

He said the CPSP should offer online examinations to stop human intervention and ensure competent students do not suffer.

“The passing percentage changes every year as it is fixed after considering the candidate who received the highest markets. If a candidate receives higher marks through unfair means, hardworking candidates fail to clear the exam,” he added.

Prof Chaudhry said the complaint has been forwarded to the concerned department and an investigation has begun. He added that a report will be submitted within a week, which will also be shared with the media.

“However, we had a very good result this time as 17 out of 32 students passed. We have been trying to introduce online exams to minimise human intervention; online exams in some subjects have been started and others will be switched to online mechanisms at the earliest,” he said.

According to the CPSP website, the college is a unique postgraduate medical institution in Asia. It was founded 55 years ago to promote specialist medical practice, arrange postgraduate medical training and research and advance the high principles of the medical profession.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2019