Dim prospects: More than 50% future dentists stumble at first hurdle

Published: May 31, 2012
The poor grades obtained by students at dental colleges might explain why so many Chinese dentist clinics are flourishing in Saddar. FILE PHOTO

The poor grades obtained by students at dental colleges might explain why so many Chinese dentist clinics are flourishing in Saddar. FILE PHOTO

KARACHI: Hardly 44 per cent of dentistry students have managed to get through the first-year Bachelor in Dental Surgery (BDS) examinations, according to the results issued by the University of Karachi (KU) on Wednesday.

Of the 365 private candidates who sat the exam, held mid-December last year, only 162 have been declared successful by the KU examination department.

Most of the students failed the Anatomy paper – one of the six papers of BDS first year, The Express Tribune has learnt.

This year’s result is unprecedented. In 2010, around 307 candidates had appeared in the examinations and more than 80 per cent of them were declared successful. In 2011, almost 79 per cent of the 336 students who sat the exam had passed it.

The students allege that the anatomy paper was extremely difficult. “Many students were seen crying [after the exam] while a good number of them were completely at a loss,” said a BDS student of Jinnah Medical and Dental College, who requested anonymity.

“The standard of education at the private medical institutions is getting worse despite the collection of exorbitant fees from the students,” said a mother of one such student, who studies at the Altamash Institute of Dental Medicine (AIDM).

She added that a student has to pay Rs460,000 as tuition fee in the first year, and even when the result was not issued, another Rs400,000 were demanded by the college to be paid for the second year.

Zeerak Jarrar, a third-year student at the AIDM, was of the view that probably the first-year students had not prepared well for the exams. “The anatomy course cannot be taken lightly,” she said.

The dean of affiliated medical colleges, Dr S M Abbas Hussain, shrugged off the student concerns. “These students just want to create a fuss so that they may be declared successful without doing well in their exams,” he said. “They just want to collect their medical degrees without any hard work.”

Aminur Rehman, assistant examination controller at KU, said that the disgruntled students may submit their objections with the KU examination department through their respective colleges. He, however, clarified that the university will only scrutinise the errors in calculation of marks. “We are not authorised to change the marks awarded by the examiner,” said Rehman.

Number of failures at each college 


Private Medical College           Students Enrolled     Failed

Karachi Medical and Dental College     50                         12

Jinnah Medical and Dental College       44                        12

Liaquat College of Medicine & Dentistry68                        59

Sir Syed College of Medical Sciences      32                        30

Altamash Institute of Dental Medicine  98                        44

Fatima Jinnah Dental College                78                       45

Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2012.

Correction: An earlier version of this article had incorrectly named the Liaquat College of Medicine & Dentistry as Liaquat National Medical College. The error is regretted.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Baby ka Husband
    May 31, 2012 - 8:07AM

    Grand results of a nuclear power’s students and their quality!!!! This is what happens when a society cheats; it ends up consuming itself, says Baby.


  • Ali S
    May 31, 2012 - 8:46AM

    I’m a second-year MBBS student and I know that medical education is tough, but a drop from 79 % / 80% to 44% suggests that either something was inherently wrong with the paper or the marking criteria has been changed without notice. KU’s papers for medical colleges are known to be rather surprising, especially the BCQs. I know many classmates (MBBS) who are excellent students (cleared all their internal examinations, many with distinctions) who failed their first year theory papers, and although Alhamdulillah I have cleared all my first year exams (last year), I think the university should be consistent with its paper-making and marking policy. Not to mention students who pay to have them passed.


  • truth teller
    May 31, 2012 - 4:06PM

    As a BDS graduate of Liaquat College of Medicine & Dentistry (it’s LCMD not Liaquat National Medical College) it’s good to see the new vice chancellor doing his job well where Pirzada Qasim failed.
    This is the most truthful result that I’ve seen in years, before you could pay bribe in examination dept through our administration clerks and get passing grades before your marksheets came out. I for one was fed up of seeing most of my classmates passing this way, who now are appointed in govt hospitals and don’t know jack.
    Principal Naveed Rashid Qureshi (dental) should wake up to the corruption taking place under his very nose.


  • Student
    May 31, 2012 - 9:23PM

    “A drop from 79 % / 80% to 44% suggests that either something was inherently wrong with the paper or the marking criteria has been changed without notice”


    The MBBS result was similar- something is definitely not okay.


  • Sohail
    Jun 1, 2012 - 12:30AM

    Administration clerk of LCMD “Rao Arsalan” takes bribes during induction of students into dental college and later helps them pass exams in college when they don’t really deserve to pass.


  • truthurts
    Jun 1, 2012 - 12:34AM

    Hard work is the key to success, so student should stop whining and start studying. Intake of student based on merit should be strictly followed.


  • student of aidm
    Jun 1, 2012 - 1:25AM

    this might be a way of KU getting money from students, it has been a normal routine every year that students pay high amounts of bribe after applying for re-checking of their papers, so maybe this time KU will get a huge chunk of money from the students when they will apply for scrutiny. On the other hand, yes, this might be a fault from the students point of view, not preparing enough and thinking that they will pass without any effort. But then again this result is shocking, how can there be a drop from 80% to 44%? there is something wrong.


  • from a worried final year student
    Jun 1, 2012 - 4:46PM

    Indeed an alarming situation ..but some how i feel the fault lies every where ..firstly the curriculum its way too vast.we are expected to cram what the medical students do in 2 years .the anatomy part includes( Histology , Head and neck, Neuro anatomy ,General anatomy and to top it introduction to lower limbs and abdomen ..etc etc ) and then in the viva we are asked contents of the .Mediastinum??( a topic from the thorax) .the Bcq s paper is set by a medical examiner who includes what ever he like without knowing the syllabus ,how on earth do you expect us to know ? Secondly our teachers take us lightly ….. our HOD’s enjoy sitting in their air conditioned rooms and leave us to the demo’s ( usually a fresh graduate usually from the college ) who are more interested in taking the attendance rather than teaching ..last the students who think that if they are paying such high fees they don’t need to study hard they know they will get through by hook or by crook…
    if KU really wants to improve the results it should keep a close eye on the standard of education imparted in these private colleges charging nearly 4 lakh/year … but having said all this i know nothing is going to change , Our governor will pass all the students failing with 1 or 2 marks by giving grace marks ( as seen in the past ) and very conveniently ignore the grave consequences of this grace marking !
    Stop playing with the future of the country’s dentist’s!


  • Unlucky guy
    Jun 1, 2012 - 7:01PM

    I’m one of those unlucky ones who have to faced this thing !!! I’m actually not able accept it ! i have never dreamed of getting it !! I know how my exams went…..and everyone knows what they did wrong and how much they might be scoring…but this time !! Well its so unfair !!! I have actually studied day and night and after all my hard work I’m getting this??? seriously???…..Above all i never thought i would be sharing any such news with my parents !! Alhumdulilah my parents are damn supportive and they knows I can never get such marks !! but there are some parents who think that their children are not capable of doing it and they are being damn strict and rude to them !! They are not even allowing them to continue !

    And regarding KU and “their Justice”…wow Failing 44% student they are really doing a good job…. if they want to improve the results…i agree they should see how these private institutions are dealing with their students and their way of teaching!! First they need to improve their teaching skills then they should come up with improving results !!!!


  • a victim
    Jun 3, 2012 - 2:22AM

    Alright so i have been a victim of this years flawed results. Almost everyone is thinking that students are using the excuse of the ‘difficult paper’ which came and now they want to get through without working hard. The truth is the paper wasn’t difficult it was totally out of somewhere. I am a good student and have been working very hard the entire year plus have an above average internal evaluation according to all my teachers. Almost all the BCQS given this year were clinical, which our HODS NEVERRR stress on! We were never told or made to study anatomy clinically!! and SEQS were totally unexpected going against the pattern of Anatomy exam which comes every year. Only distinction holders could attempt the paper and i myself have witnessed them spreading their answers in the Examination Hall with a little lenient invigilators, probably the reason all the students form that part of the hall passed while we were’nt that fortunate enough todo so. i know we have to study each and every thing to become good doctors and its pretty useless making such excuses and asking for one or two grace marks when we know that nothing would actually happen and at the end we would be the ones whod be sitting back n studying the WHOLE Anatomy again, No one will tell the HODS to stop stressing on a few things when ANYTHING from ANYWHERE from ANYWHERE can come just because it is a part of anatomy and no one will tell Karachi university to provide us with RIGHT INFORMATION at the RIGHT TIME without unnecessary hopes and delay so we can follow up with the supplies and scrutiny and 2nd year studies BUT no one in this country is fair enough to take the responsibility of the mishap they cause after all. The system will never change.


  • AIDM
    Jun 7, 2012 - 10:32PM

    altamash statistics are wrong. around 98 students are there and 44 have passed. 56 fail please correct


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