College life and the dilemma of red tape

Sadaf Fayyaz June 19, 2010
I belong to the 2006 batch of Bahria University. After completing two semesters at BU, one day my mom asked me to show her my interim transcript. Figuring I needed a print copy of my transcript, I went to the examination department, who promptly said, “sorry, we can’t give you the transcript since there is no paper.”

I was a bit puzzled over such an unlikely excuse. The next day, I was informed by a couple of friends, “They give this paper excuse to everyone, they don’t want to give transcripts out”.

I didn’t give up and went to the Director Academics. He told me that he couldn't help me and referred me to Director Exams. They too seemed reluctant to give me the transcript.

I then went to an old teacher of mine, who was acting as head of Examination Department and finally I was granted my transcript without any paper “filling” at all.

At times there are unnecessary filings and paper work at BU. It is good to keep a record of students and their grades, but the incredible amounts of red tape destroys the functionality of an organization.

Case in point 2: I was supposed to present a BU shield to a guest for delivering his lecture and taking time out of his hectic schedule. Enter the red tape again. The admin person responsible for shields refused to give it to me.

“First get it signed by your instructor, Deputy Director and XYZ, then I will give the shield to you.”

I looked at my watch. There was little time left and the guest was about to depart. He had specially come from Lahore for this lecture. Being out of time and options, I had to threaten the concerned person to give me the shield to present to the guest.

The crux of the matter is that an institution simply cannot function well unless we cut the red tape and move forward. Unnecessary paper work and official mechanisms only destroy an organization and bring havoc to its functionality. The amount of time administration spends in getting forms filled, taking signs, stamping them and then maintaining  a paper record is totally inefficient. Sure, sometimes it’s necessary to keep a paper record and track of everything, but then why despite having so many records and files was my thesis result lost or misplaced?

The thesis department claimed to have sent my result to exam department. The exam department told me they had not received it, so they couldn't prepare my final transcript. Upon asking a middle man (PA to HOD), I found my thesis on his table below a stack of papers.

It is high time we see a more innovative, more progressive system, and the elimination of red tape culture at universities.
Sadaf Fayyaz A freelance journalist, photographer, blogger and writer's take on life, culture, media and everything else.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Wassay | 13 years ago | Reply I should say that this is sadly part of our culture. It is not only in BU but in majority of the organizations operating in Pakistan and until and unless it is not changed such self created difficulties will be faced forever. Truth be told we are also responsible for this and believe it or not, majority of the people here will do the same when they'll be doing jobs. Because no one cares for any stranger. why would someone waste his/her time over some other's task who doesn't have any reference and possesses no threat at all?? You need the upper hand to get the job done in Pakistan. We call ourselves Muslim but are even worse than non-Muslims.
Ebby | 13 years ago | Reply happens.Paper work is important but it should make the process easier instead of making it more difficult for the people. Keeping records is good only if its for the betterment otherwise its just a pain. And thats the tragedy of our society. We try to adopt things from west without thinking their purpose. Anyways well written article.
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