Punjab medical students take to the streets against ‘strict marking’

Published: February 28, 2012

Dozens of medical students in Punjab blocked the road outside the University of Health Sciences in Lahore on Tuesday, to protest what they called was ‘strict marking’. DESIGN: ESSA MALIK

LAHORE: Dozens of medical students in Punjab blocked the road outside the University of Health Sciences in Lahore on Tuesday, to protest what they called was ‘strict marking’.

Sajjad Haider, an MBBS student at Faisalabad’s Punjab Medical College, told The Express Tribune that the reason for the huge percentage of failing students was improper marking by the UHS. He said that 174 of 300 students at his college had not cleared MBBS-III annual examinations. “Students should be given grace marks or the exam should be administered again.”

Interestingly, most protesters were students who had managed to clear the examinations and had come merely for moral support to others.

Mian Omer, another student at the PMC, said he had cleared his MBBS exam but had come to Lahore to participate in the protest to support his friends who had failed.

But as angry demonstrators blocked the road and also access to the emergency ward of Shaikh Zayed Hospital, one of Lahore’s busiest medical facilities, commuters faced difficulties in going about their business. Police officials were seen convincing the students to let traffic flow but protesters refused to heed police requests.

“I have to reach my examination center and I am stuck here in traffic. If these students have a complaint, they should talk to their professors instead of causing problems for other people,” said Muhammad Idrees, who was scheduled to sit an exam for ACMA.

Meanwhile, a UHS spokesperson said that a committee had already been established to look into the matter. “The paper was not out of the syllabus. Students should spend time studying instead of wasting it blocking roads and causing problems for other people.”

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Jawed
    Feb 28, 2012 - 2:21PM

    Are we talking about a Nobel Profession? If so then what is this protest is all about. They should concentrate on studies rather begging for grace marks.

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  • M Bilal Malik
    Feb 28, 2012 - 5:19PM

    Mr Jawed dont doctors have rights? If something happens to them what should they do? And we are not begging for grace marks, Uhs has made it a routine to fail more than 50% students in any class, whenever they want. ThanksRecommend

  • StraightManOnET
    Feb 28, 2012 - 5:29PM

    Doctors have become one of the most loathed creatures in this country for the sole reason that this dada-giri (hooliganism) has become a culture in the medical institutions. These are the same students who will join YDA in future and will harass the patients’ relatives after committing negligence and playing with patients’ lives!
    ^^All this is coming from a student of Punjab Medical College who has cleared this examination about which all this fuss has been created!

    Your’s Sincerely,
    A rational medical student of 4th year MBBS.

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  • Feb 28, 2012 - 6:11PM

    I happen to be one of those unfortunate individuals who’ve ended up with a “suppli” in one of the subjects. I know very well that I worked hard, but still I’ll have to resit.

    The problem with these protests is -notwithstanding ‘rage’ and ruckus, and an utter lack of sound upbringing they seem to portray- that, saying the result is unfair is a logical fallacy. This is due to various reasons.

    Firstly, people fail EVERY YEAR, and they resit, every year. This follows, that this year like any other some of us would’ve failed. If we are to arbitrarily decide that just because this year the percentage is higher, suddenly it is unfair, that means we are instituting discrimination against all those who failed in the previous years, but, we couldn’t care less because percentage of fail/pass wasn’t as striking. So, what protesters are demanding is essentially, an UNFAIR demand.

    Secondly, this is a POLITICAL stunt, being carried out by certain individuals of certain student political group, as their ‘intra-elections’ are just around the corner, hence they are garnering support, fooling people and knowing fully well that not much will come out of these protests. Opportunism and obscurantism at its best.

    A sane suppli holder.
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  • a concerned doc
    Feb 28, 2012 - 9:07PM

    seems like some people here are too keen to show that they are medical students and yet are against these protests.trust me on this NO SINGLE MEDICAL STUDENT in any of punjab medical colleges is a pro-UHS. nor does he rely solely on what he attempted in papers.there is this huge amount of unpredictbility in students when it comes about examination system at UHS.
    and btw i’m at PMC so dont say some political groups are going hooligans.in protests you would hardy find the group active.Its the common man’s voice.

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  • Feb 28, 2012 - 11:21PM

    A doctor is not a common man, doc. Get over yourself.

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  • Grace
    Feb 29, 2012 - 1:24AM

    I am sorry but these students should just go and study insteadof crying. We all know the level od education and study discipline is lacking in all Muslim countries.

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  • UzairSaroya
    Feb 29, 2012 - 6:58AM

    The moment you leave the dying patient on their beds to go on the roads, you violate the oath which you yourself swore. A result is far less important than the life of a human being.

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  • Jawed
    Feb 29, 2012 - 9:29AM

    @M Bilal Malik:
    Well article clearly states that they are protesting against strict marking. They should work harder than before to counter strict marking; after all life and death is associated with your profession. Doctors do have rights but demand for grace marks is not legitimate. If any one failed for even 1 mark, that matters for life and death. Don’t you agree?

    I agree that our education system is to blame partly because in Pakistan students are used to grace marks and they think its their birth right.

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  • M Bilal Malik
    Feb 29, 2012 - 12:43PM

    @Jawed.
    Respected sir i wish you could see the amount of hard work a medical student goes through. And after a whole year of study you get to be judged on questions out of your syllabus, tell us what to do? And no one can compare the importance a doctor holds for his/her patient. We are protesting for unjustified marking and examination system in which a person getting distinction in one year gets failed in the next examination, provided he/she remains a brilliant student throughout the year. What will you say or do to console him? Please tell us, so that we stop protesting.

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  • Mooed
    Feb 29, 2012 - 1:19PM

    seems like doctors are always complaining about one thing or another

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  • PakPunjabi
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:21AM

    I completed my MBBS and passed my final exam last year. I am now in Canada studying for USMLE and MCCQE/EE. American trained doctors are better than Pakistani trained doctors. Everyone will admit. Yes?
    But the books they teach here are simpler, easier and leaner. Students study hard and are trained properly but they are given sufficient time to relax and enjoy as well. In Pakistan, it was study, study and study. Nobody pays attention to clinical skills. And I know this has been said so many times before but rather than learn concepts and techniques to approach clinical problems, everything has to be memorized.
    I believe most MBBS students of UHS will agree when I say that UHS makes the worst MCQ’s possible. Students spend so much time memorizing that the joy of learning is non existent. And nobody pays attention to clinical skills. Clinical exposure here begins the first day you enter an MD program.
    For people who say that medical students don’t study enough, I’d like to say they are very wrong. These students are those who get 900+/1100.
    UHS wants its graduates to be at par with international medical graduates but this is definitely not the way to achieve this goal. A generalized, clinically oriented approach to clinical problems and more clinical skills’ training are needed.

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