LAHORE          -     The Syndicate of the University of Health Sciences(UHS), on Friday, approved the development of a Postgraduate Monitoring System(PGMS) in a bid to provide the ultimate comprehensive students’ data management and monitoring system for postgraduate trainees of clinical programmes including MD, MS and MDS, in affiliated institutions.

The 59th meeting of the syndicate was held here with UHS Vice Chancellor Prof Javed Akram in the chair.

Prof Javed Akram apprised the members that the PGMS was being developed to track students’ progress towards graduation (e.g. data on registration, working title, supervisor(s), research proposal, progress to date, etc.)

He added the automated tracking system was believed to be effective in monitoring the postgraduate research students’ progress and in reducing the amount of time that students take to graduate.

“Such information made it possible to see if students are achieving their academic goals and supervisors can see, as soon as possible, if a student is not progressing”, he explained.

He further said that the dashboard would also be useful in helping the medical education departments to plan their educational activities and improve data communication between supervisors and the trainees. In this way, the progress of the students (both in terms of research outputs and educational activities) would be frequently monitored and measures such as counselling would be taken if progress was lacking, he explained.

He added that a mobile app for the system would also be launched. He said that MD, MS and MDS programmes were being offered in 27 affiliated institutions. He said that around 2,600 students were registered in these programmes while the number of trainees was increasing by 800 every year.

“We are trying to ensure quality education and training for these residents,” he said. This electronic database was needed to monitor the educational activities in all the institutions for standardization. It was apprised to the members that PGMS was being developed in collaboration with Punjab Information Technology Board. Prof. Javed Akram further said that curriculum and training schedule of all courses would also be available in this database.

The meeting was told that a principal of a medical college had requested the university to conduct special supplementary examinations for those students who failed in the second and third professional MBBS supplementary examinations, pleading that these students had already suffered due to coronavirus and if they were not given another chance to pass the exam, they would lose two academic years.

On this occasion, the syndicate members were informed that according to the regulations of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council(PMDC), and keeping the judgments of apex courts in view, holding of special supplementary examinations was not permissible. On this, the syndicate directed the UHS to refer the matter to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council.

The meeting also approved the revised schedule of examinations earlier postponed due to the pandemic. However, all the examinations were made subject to government guidelines. On this occasion, the members were apprised of the threat posed by the mushroom growth of medical universities in the province. The members expressed their reservations saying that it could adversely affect the quality of medical education. The syndicate asked the varsity administration to write a detailed letter to the secretary specialized healthcare and medical education in this regard thus making the university’s stance clear on the matter. The meeting also reviewed the recommendations of the committees set up for affiliation of various institutions and approved eight BS programmes to be launched in six institutes.