Female candidates stole the show by securing five of the six top positions in the BA/BSc annual exams, the results of which were announced on Saturday by the Punjab University.
Dr Mujahid Kamran, the Punjab University vice chancellor, distributed shields and cash prizes among the position holders, who were also awarded cash prizes.
According to the university, 143,750 students sat for the exams of which 57,284 were successful. The pass percentage of 39.85 this year is up nearly six per cent from the pass percentage in 2011 (34.09).
The top three positions in the BSc exams were bagged by Sania Riaz, of the Punjab College of Science with 686 marks; Sundus Shahzadi, of the Queen Mary College with 658 marks; and Suneela Wajid, of the Punjab College for Women, Gujranwala, with 655 marks.
The four people who led the batch of BA students had all appeared as private candidates. Muhammad Muhsen Ali from Hafizabad secured the first position with 688 marks, Kanwal Latif from Lahore was second with 668 marks while Muqaddas Shehbaz from Hafizabad and Maria Anam from Gujranwala, secured the third position with 661 marks.
Wajid, who majored in mathematics and physics, told The Express Tribune that she had been confident she would secure a position. She hopes to pursue her master’s in mathematics from Gujrat University.
Ali, who secured the first position in BA, is the eldest among 11 siblings and is the son of a labourer. He works at a tandoor. Unable to pay college fees, he enrolled as a private candidate. Ali hopes to continue his studies and pursue a master’s degree in English. Talking to The Tribune he regretted that the government had failed to provide poor students with financial assistance.
According to a Punjab government press release, that was issued Saturday evening, the chief minister has decided to pay for Ali’s education from his personal funds.
Latif too said that the government should ensure that education becomes accessible to all, especially those under financial constraints.
Addressing the students, Dr Kamran criticised the government for not investing in education and research. This, he said, had caused “social and economic decline”. Demanding a minimum allocation of 4 per cent of the GDP for education, Dr Kamran said the government should ensure education was accessible to the common man. He lamented that the federal government had engaged in ‘cheap politics’ with the Higher Education Commission and cut its funds. This, he believed, was done because the commission had followed court orders and checked parliamentarians’ degress.
Students can register for supplementary examination until August 27. The exams are expected to be held in October.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2012.