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Punjab Minister Creates Controversy After Remarks on MDCAT Students

Students pursuing career-based education were left dismayed by the remarks of the Punjab’s Minister for Higher Education, Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfraz, regarding students’ learning abilities and the level of skills of Pakistani graduates.

The minister’s comments were in response to a question during a press conference on Tuesday about students condemning the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for out-of-syllabus questions in the recent MDCAT examinations.

He replied that such a mindset was “absolutely wrong”, and that “unless and until the students are able to develop a habit of responding to unseen topics, they will never be able to progress”.

“Why are our graduates unable to compete with their international counterparts?” he retorted.


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Pakistani students are used to writing rote-learned answers in tests, and whenever an attempt is made to improve the system, people resist.

“I believe whatever the HEC is doing is correct although I’m in no way related to the HEC, which is a federal institution,” the minister added.

While some felt that the minister was right, many students felt insulted by his comments. A lot of them expressed their rage on Twitter, lamenting how the situation showed that they would ‘never be able to get justice.’

Here is how students reacted:


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PMC on ‘Out-of-Syllabus’ Questions

After considering candidates’ protests against the out-of-syllabus questions in the MDCAT examinations, the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) has released the details of a post-analysis of the exam to eliminate the ambiguity regarding the results.

The commission identified 14 of 200 questions as either ambiguous or discriminatory by ‘analyzing the answers of the candidates, the formation of questions, or which were below the cut-off benchmark of the discrimination index’. Consequently, all the candidates were granted equal marks for the questions in concern.

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