Pakistan’s medical and dental colleges ease admissions criteria by 50% amid COVID-19

Amid coronavirus pandemic Medical and Dental colleges have eased admissions criteria for prospective students who are required to obtain at least 33% in entry test to be considered.

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Medical and Dental colleges in Pakistan have eased the criteria for admissions in the academic year of 2020-2021. As per new policy regulations, prospective candidates should obtain a minimum of 33% in the entry test to be considered for admission, exactly half of the minimum threshold that was needed in the previous year.

There is further leniency in the requirements for appearing in entry tests as well, permitting students who have obtained 65 per cent marks in the Intermediate science group annual examinations to sit for the test. Last year, only students who had obtained 70 per cent or higher in these examinations were allowed to take the entry tests.

Balochistan objects to high admission criteria for its students

As a result of this minimum requirement last year, the admission process in many medical and dental colleges could not be completed, with the Balochistan government raising objections to the 70 per cent criteria that had been set by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).

The Balochistan government had claimed that it was an underdeveloped province, where many students were disadvantaged and could not obtain 70 per cent marks. It, therefore, called for more flexible criteria, seeking the minimum score for appearing in entry tests to be set at 65 per cent. As a result, the PMDC decided to lower its criteria.

Read more: Pakistan Medical and Dental Council approves increment in fee of medical colleges

According to the PMDC, written entry tests for medical and dental programmes will be held from September 15 to October 15, with every province bound to organise the test within this time period.

Delayed admissions as Intermediate examination results still pending 

Admissions at Sindh’s medical and dental colleges are planned to begin under a uniform policy this month after the results for the Intermediate science examinations are announced. However, the admissions process can only be started if the results are announced on time.

It should be noted that with the coronavirus pandemic, Intermediate examinations could not be held this year and results are to be issued without the usual examinations. Last week, at a meeting of the provincial education department’s steering committee, it was revealed that the results for Grade 11 and 12 students would be announced on September 30, with the mark sheets to be issued a week later.

Read more: SC orders private medical colleges to refund excess fee

With new policies in place and taking into account the delays in admissions, finalization of admissions for this year is expected around December.

GVS News Desk with additional input by other sources

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