ISLAMABAD: Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) has decided not to give admission to students of the associate degree programme (ADP)/BA/BSc/BCom of colleges in the fifth semester of the four-year BS programme who have obtained less than 50pc marks in their intermediate exams.

Two years ago, colleges under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) started the ADP with 45pc eligibility criterion for admission. The students were told that after completing the two-year ADP, they can get admission to the fifth semester of the four-year BS programme. But when the students completed the ADP, they are now being informed that they cannot take admission to the fifth semester of the BS programme on the basis of 45pc marks. Only students with at least 50pc marks in the intermediate are eligible to take admission in the fifth semester. The students of ADP are currently waiting for their results which are expected to be announced by the QAU soon.

The FDE recently notified the lateral entry policy for ADP and BA/BSc students in the fifth semester of the BS programme. Under this policy, the ADP and BA/BSc degree holders would not be able to continue their studies even with excellent results if they had passed their intermediate exams with less than 50pc marks. Under the policy, many students will not be able to enter the fifth semester of the BS programme.

Nabeel, a student of H-8 College, said the college management told him that since the QAU had set the admission criterion of lateral entry he cannot enroll with the college because he had passed his intermediate with less than 50pc marks.

Associate degree programme students with less than 50pc marks in intermediate barred from admission to fifth semester of BS courses

“If I cannot continue after the fourth semester of ADP, why was I admitted in the college two years back? It seems the door to education is being closed on us.”

Tahir Mahmood, associate professor at H-8 College, said “the criterion set for entry into BS programme is badly inflexible which prohibits students to enter the BS programme at two stages. If a student does not attain 50pc marks in FA/FSc, they are not able to get admission in the BS programme directly but ironically they are again not allowed to join the BS programme under the lateral entry policy (in the fifth semester) despite their far better GPA than the required 2. This means a student’s first mistake is the last mistake in their career.

“If a student has improved his/her performance in the ADP, it should be acknowledged by accepting him/her to continue education on the pyramid of the academic career.

Anum Kaleem, Joint Secretary Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA), said: “Even a commonplace educationist knows that students may underperform at one stage but one mistake must not become a stigma for the entire life. Therefore, this inflexible policy may be revised and students be given an easy access to BS studies.”

Jabir Hussain, Press Secretary of FGCTA, said: “Students very often can surprise the teachers, the institution and even themselves. A new flexible policy of student intake in BS programme will save students’ career, college logistics and other related government resources.”

Professor Rahima Rahman, President FGCTA, said the denial of admission to the ADP students in the fifth semester of the BS programme on the basis of intermediate results is a profound violation of the students’ fundamental right. Many students who got less than 50pc marks in the intermediate level due to different reasons later perform well in higher studies.

When contacted, Rozina Faheem, chairperson of the FDE committee tasked with holding contact with the QAU regarding the ADP and BS programme, said the FDE had nothing to do with the admission policy.

“Rather we are following the policy of QAU as our colleges are affiliated with it. We do agree students with 45pc marks in intermediate are upset. We have been raising this issue with QAU,” she said.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2022

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