Ignoring merit: ‘Paramedical education board rife with corruption’

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The regulatory body which oversees paramedical education has run into serious issues after many appointments, under the previous government, were allegedly not made on merit. Appointments at Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Medical Faculty (KPMF) Peshawar were based on political influence, insiders told The Express Tribune.

The main responsibility of the board is to conduct examinations, and issue role numbers, certificates, mark sheets and degrees.  The students certified by the board often complain about mistakes in mark sheets and non-issuance of role number slips during exam times.  They find the faculty has failed to provide due services to the students who are undertaking diplomas in various paramedical disciplines.

An official, requesting anonymity, said most of the appointments in the faculty were based on referrals by higher-ups at the department – without taking into consideration their abilities or qualifications. Class-IV employees, who are unable to run administrative affairs, were promoted to junior clerk and assistants, stated the official.

He confirmed faculty members frequently make mistakes in certificates, mark sheets and role number slips.

“There is no computerised record held by the faculty and most of the certificates of the two-year course are hand written. Anyone can make changes on the mark sheet,” he shared.

Muhammad Waqas Ahmad, a student, told The Express Tribune the grades they are accorded are not in line with their performance. Faculty members and staff are unable to keep track of things as, “despite students taking their exams, they are marked absent in the mark sheet.”

Ahmad said when he applied for a paper, the KPMF Peshawar did not provide any role number and he was asked to write his name on the paper.

Another student, Subhan Ali, alleged the faculty generates its revenue by repeatedly failing candidates in exams so students have to resubmit their examination fee. There is no shortage of staff but most are Class-IV employees who are not qualified for the job.

“The faculty gave me a diploma after I gave them money,” said Ali. He claimed anyone can bribe the staff to ‘pass’ their examinations or for a certificate.

KPMF Peshawar Secretary Javad Habib maintained he will ensure records are computerised now that he has assumed charge.

He admitted certain mistakes were made in the issuance of certificates, adding reports of forging certificates and bribing will be thoroughly investigated. All those involved will be fired from the institute, claimed Habib.

The KPMF secretary insisted he was not aware who from the staff was illegally promoted, claiming it happened before he took the job.

Source: The Express Tribune