LAHORE: Dozens of students along with their parents on Monday protested against the provincial government demanding an increase in seats at public medical colleges.
Students who had recently given the medical college entrance test (MCAT) exam said the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) had announced last year that seats would be increased in public medical colleges but only private medical colleges were given preferences.
Protesting in front of the Punjab Assembly, Saira Ali, a student, said the government had announced that 829 seats would be increased this year. However, the decision was not implemented.
“There is only one alternative in this situation, which is to apply for admission in private medical colleges but they are extremely expensive,” she said. “As much as Rs4 million is needed to graduate from a private medical college that my family cannot afford. Education is a basic right and we demand the government increase seats in public medical colleges,” said Saira.
While other protesters said since 2013 the same number of seats – 3,000 – was being offered and no increase, despite a notification to increase seats by the government, had been made at public colleges.
Students held placards and banners in support of their demands and shouted slogans against the government.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2016.