PU students bemoan victimisation, harassment

The MSc Space Sciences programme students say they are purposely failed in exams


Our Correspondent January 06, 2018
Punjab University. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: Students of the MSc Space Sciences programme of the Punjab University have alleged that the administration of the department is unjustifiably failing examination candidates, while teachers are not attending classes and marking false attendance.

Some of them stated that professors were demanding bribes to get their work done.

Students of the programme met the vice chancellor and submitted several formal complaints, demanding he take action against the administration of the department.

Taking note of the students’ complaint, the Board of Studies of the Punjab University formed a committee to look into the matter.

In one application, available with The Express Tribune, students of MSc for the academic session 2015-2017 said that 14 out of 24 students from their class failed the Telecommunications and Satellite Communications for MSc Part II Annual Examination.

The students pointed to several reasons including out of syllabus questions in the exam, short lecture durations by the teacher and failure to complete the course. The candidates were also suspicious over the marking of the exam.

According to the students, the results were also questionable as candidates who failed to attend a single lecture had passed, whereas “regular and competent” pupils failed.

The students alleged in their application to the vice chancellor that the chairman of the department, student advisor and controller of examinations ‘blackmailed and threatened’ them.

Furthermore, the students alleged the administration made them sign for classes they did not attend and threatened to tamper with the results and send letters to their parents if they failed to do so.

Other allegations made by students included a teacher forcing them to mark attendance for two lectures so the latter “could complete their credit hours”.

The PU pupils further accused a teacher of conducting lectures in his office instead of the classroom and that too for just 15 minutes. Another teacher, they added, did not even bother to deliver a single lecture.

The application continued that students were forced to attend irrelevant seminars, parties and tours on the pretext of ‘extra-curricular’ activities which would enable them to pass exams. Another serious allegation made by the students was of ‘inappropriate’ student-teacher relationships.

In a separate application, also available with The Express Tribune, the students alleged they were victimised and threatened due to their complaint against unfair evaluation.

The application claimed students were also asked to deposit Rs500 for the Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme.

The students alleged that when they objected to the additional payment, the staff was ordered to “kick them out” without laptop verification. They were also warned of a “serious” outcome if the issue was raised with higher authorities.

When contacted, a Punjab University spokesperson said the vice chancellor had taken up the matter and forwarded the complaint to the Board of Studies.

He assured a committee would look into allegations and take action against the administration if the allegations were proven.

At the same time, he commented that some political elements were using the concerns of the students to target the administration.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2018.

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