* Edexcel official says the impact of national policies should be kept in mind
By Afnan Khan
LAHORE: Following the admission of A-Level students on open merit at Lahore University of Management Science’s newly-launched School of Science and Engineering (SSE), experts and A-Level students have urged Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) and the authorities concerned to allow students to take admission in various medical and engineering schools on an open merit basis.
The SSE has admitted both the A-Level students and those of the Faculty of Science (FSc) on open merit in their first batch of graduate classes in the fields of engineering, physics, chemistry, mathematics, and computer sciences.
SSE Project Director Khurram Khan Afridi told Daily Times that around 200 students would be given admission in the school after entry tests on an equal basis. “We have taken common topics from the A-Level and FSc books and prepared the tests to provide all students with an equal opportunity to join the school,” he said.
Afridi said that the admission test followed a straightforward format, and that any institute could adopt the same, in the interests of students. He said that the kind of educational certificates the students had earned did not matter, as long as they had better schooling in their background. He said that students should be given equal grounds to get scientific education in line with international standards, so that they could play their due roles for the development of the country. He said that the admission test mainly consisted of multiple-choice questions, followed by interviews, and that any institute could easily adopt the same criteria.
Impact is decisive: Edexcel London Examinations Regional Development Manger Suhail Zafar told Daily Times that any institute could take A-Level students on open merit, but the formula adopted by the IBCC resulted in a comparatively less number of admissions of foreign boards’ students in local institutes. “Every country has its own education policy, and we make such policies for the betterment of the students and the country as whole. It is our right to make the policies of our choice, but we should also keep the impact of such policies in mind. I do not think that there would be anything wrong if we go on competing with foreign boards by adopting the open merit policy, as it would only increase our standard of education,” Suhail explained. He also pointed out that local institutions of international repute like Agha Khan University and Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute were admitting students on open merit.
A-Level student Zainab said that she wanted to do her MBBS after completing her course. “It is a more difficult for A-Level students to join local medical schools as compared to FSc students, because of the tougher rules for A-Level students,” she said.
She said that government should adopt an open merit policy, because it would benefit the students studying from foreign boards, and force the local boards to meet international standards.
Source: Daily Times, 5/5/2008