I AM enrolled in the MS/MPhil in Education programme at the University of Karachi, and my life has been encumbered by a new requirement. Universities generally conduct an entry test for admission to such programmes, while others conduct interviews as well. But all this happens before the admission, and logically so. However, we, at the University of Karachi, have been recently asked to appear in the Graduate Assessment Test (GAT) while we are already in the second semester of the programme.
This is a nuisance and distraction from our routine studies that entail assignments, presentations, tests and quizzes. All students pursuing the programme have been facing anxiety and depression owing to this new and unnecessary GAT burden in the middle of a semester.
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has introduced the policy of mandatory GAT, linking it with the release of the result of the second semester, and the university has to follow this policy.
Unfortunately, the HEC is imposing its policies without realising students’ difficulties. The decision will have serious repercussions for the students who can even fail to pass their semester courses, leave alone passing GAT.
This means if someone fails to qualify GAT, they have to sit the test again. I know some old students who still are trying to pass their test and paying fee again and again, yet failing to clear GAT even though they were doing well in their main programme of study.
In this precarious situation, students failing to clear GAT would not be able to complete their MS/MPhil in the stipulated period. This, in turn, means all the affected will have to get enrolled again to move on with their studies. It would have given students a peace of mind had the HEC asked them to qualify GAT before allowing them to get enrolled in university.
Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2022