ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has given a special amnesty to Pakistani female students studying in Afghanistan, whose study was banned by the Taliban government, and those in Ukraine whose studies were affected due to the war there.

In this regard, a National Equivalence Examination (NEB) was held at the Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU) as per a decision of the newly-elected council in which 370 of the total 512 scheduledcandidates appeared.

Since the start of the year 2023, a number of Pakistani female students, who were seeking medical education in Afghanistan, had been holding protests demanding that they should be adjusted in medical colleges of Pakistan because the Taliban government had banned women from acquiring higher education.

However, the defunct Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) did not seem to own the students as majority of them had even failed in the Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) and got admission in Afghanistan without seeking permission or even informing the PMC.

The PMDC decided to give them a chance to appear in the exam.

Similarly, a number of male and female students returned from Ukraine after the war there. As the war does not seem to end, they were also demanding adjustment in educational institutions in Pakistan.

There were also some students who had returned from other countries as well.

According to a statement issued on Thursday: “PMDC made all necessary arrangements prior to the exam over which students showed complete satisfaction. The total number of candidates scheduled for the exam was 512 of which 370 candidates appeared in the exam.”

After comprehensive review and checking of all papers, the statement added, the result was compiled and prepared by RMU. The PMDC uploaded the result of NEB on its website.

PMDC President Dr Rizwan Taj stated that the council had given special amnesty to Pakistani national female students studying in Afghanistan and whose affected by the war in Ukraine.

He said the NEB will be conducted twice a year to assess and oversee the assessment of the knowledge, clinical skills and professional attributes of students who have partially completed a medical and dental programme in a foreign institution and are seeking transfer to and admission in a medical or dental college in Pakistan.

“The council is committed to maintain best standards across Pakistan to make it at par with international standards. Accreditation with World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) is our top priority and is being undertaken at a fast pace. In this regard, all colleges have been directed to establish a research cell and quality assurance department to fulfil the criteria of accreditation of WFME,” he said.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2023

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