Vol. 5 Num 684 Wed. May 03, 2006  
Star Chittagong

CMC plunges into session jam

Chittagong Medical College (CMC) has plunged into a long-term session jam as a section of students refrain fellow students from appearing in the final professional examinations in the scheduled session.

The students also reportedly bar the others from taking in the examinations in due time, creating various academic and administrative complexities at Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) as well, sources said.

Besides, an indefinite strike called by the interns over non-payment of allowance added to the backlog of problems hampering treatment of patients, they said.

There are 287 intern doctors at the CMCH against 150 seats for internship, sources said.

As per the curriculum of 1988, students are given options of appearing in the final professional examination in any of the three sessions - January, May and September.

The policy was adopted to stop deferring examinations, but by now it rather appears to have emerged as a practice at CMC, they said.

Availing the policy, many of the final year examinees at CMC have been refraining from appearing in the examinations whereas the students in other medical colleges are sitting in the examinations in time.

CMC Principal Prof Dr Imran Bin Yunus said, 'It is making CMC students irregular and trailer in service and BCS entry as well.'

To address the situation the CMC authorities at a meeting on April 15 decided to take measures to compel the students to sit for the examinations in scheduled session and complete course in time, Dr Imran said.

It was also aimed at easing session congestion at the college and putting a check on crossing the number of interns at CMCH, he added.

CMC authorities in the April 15 meeting also decided to award four types of punishments to the eligible examinees, to start with the 43rd batch, who would not appear in the examination scheduled to begin on May 2.

The measures include cancellation of 'sent up' (eligibility to sit in exam), restriction on their stay in the hostel after the examinations, compulsory attendance at the lecture classes and fulfillment of ward duties to get fresh 'sent up' in order to sit in the next Final Professional examination in September session.

Ninety-nine per cent of the students did not appear in the Final Professional examinations in the due sessions in last four years, sources said.

Only Sufia Begum of 42nd batch appeared in the final professional examinations in May last year.

Out of 155 students of 41st batch, only ten students appeared in the examinations in the September session. But, none of them could appear all the examinations reportedly due to pressure from the fellow students who chose to become irregular, sources added.

The CMC decision created a mixed reaction among the students.

The students and interns opposing the decision attributed the congestions of examinees and interns at CMC and CMCH to the academic system.

Chittagong Medical College Student Union (CMCSU) Vice President (VP) Abdul Matin, also an examinee of 43rd batch, criticised the decision to cancel the 'sent up'.

"A student achieves it after attending the final year classes and fulfilling all the requirements. So he need not attend the classes or wards again," he said.

"We do not get enough time to prepare for three comparatively harder subjects after completion of classes of the final year," said Faisal Pappu, an examinee of 43rd batch.

"Moreover, many students get their eligibility 'sent-ups' only a few days ahead of the exam", said Md Sanaullah Sanu, CMC unit president of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD).

As such most of the students want to avoid exams in due session and sit in the next session after three months with sufficient preparation, they said.

Besides, political activities and political affiliation of the teachers also hinder the intended examinees to appear in the examinations, said several students and interns on condition of anonymity.

The teachers, however, blamed the students for deferring the examinations and creating the backlogging.

Vice Principal Prof Dr Alim said, "All the classes and wards have been completed at least two months ahead of the final professional examination this year and the teachers never failed to complete the classes or courses within the scheduled time."

Principal Dr Imran echoed Dr Alim saying, "Students who are not serious in study creates the problem willfully through not appearing in the examinations and forcing others to follow them."

Sources said, though 150, out of 156 students of the 43rd batch, got the "sent-up" for the May 2 final professional examinations, only 53 submitted their forms until April 23 one day before the last date for submitting forms with fines.

Yet, the number is being considered as "satisfactory" compared to the previous years.