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Irregularities in university entry tests

The first round of university entry test in Kabul has been conducted. What troubles many people—candidates and parents, is the alleged gross irregularities and nepotism in the entry test. As many as 12,000 candidates including 400 girls took the test. This is only in Kabul. If the figures from provinces start trickling, the number of the candidates will reach nearly to 27, 0000 including 56,000 female candidates. It’s really a biggest change since 2001. It means education has been growing with leaps and bounds, but it doesn’t mean at all we have reached international standards and quality of education. What we see is just a glut of educated but jobless youth and the reason is that most of the candidates either pursue literature and non-professional subjects. Besides that there is lack of career planning or at times no career planning at all. Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Mohammad Usman Baburi, says that nearly 80,000 candidates will take the entry test only in Kabul province. It means more and more people are flocking to education, but it shouldn’t be just enabling people how to read and write. Education is not that much simple rather the true purpose of education should be to teach a man to carry himself triumphant in any circumstance. There are millions of degree holders out but a few who are educated in true sense. What this country currently needs is educated people not the glut of frustrated degree holders. To produce more educated people, higher education ministry will have to address nepotism in entry test and private universities because nepotism make undeserving candidates passed to universities while private universities are producing just a herd of degree holders who will put more burden on the already overload job market. Nepotism kills meritocracy while private universities have been causing half-backed literacy. Private universities should also follow strict criteria for giving admissions to students. If the prime objective of private universities is just to fleece students and collecting huge fees then the purpose of education is killed. A sudden glut of university graduates produces graduate unemployment that takes away their survival capacity because they consider themselves overqualified and sometimes holding them back from menial jobs. To make our youth job-oriented with competence, universities will have to introduce reforms in their admission criteria and curriculum and nepotism should be discouraged in entry tests. Those students who rely in nepotism lack strength while it is strength that takes you to top. If a person has no strength how he will reach to the top of his career. Wouldn’t he become reliant on nepotism even after getting university education completed and with a job in hand? Of course he will. Such people need stilts even after their university education. They are killers of meritocracy. And when they reach public offices, crookedness becomes their weapon of survival. Commenting on poor education in private universities, the Deputy Minister said strict actions would be taken against all those private institutes that are not abiding by rules and regulations set by the higher education ministry. What he said now needs to be translated into reality as mere rhetoric doesn’t cure the problems. Well done is a thousand times better than well said. We need innovation not imitation. We need educated youth not a glut of degree holders. To achieve innovation, to improve quality of education, there is much room for reforms.

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