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FPC refuses to accredit LCWU D-Pharmacy degree

02-Feb-2008: Forty-two D-Pharmacy students of the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) are holding their breaths as they give their final vivas (oral exams) this month because the Federal Pharmacy Council (FPC) has not approved their degree even after five years have gone by since they took admission in the university.
The FPC has refused to accept the university's degree declaring the LCWU Pharmacy Department's arrangements 'not up to the mark'.

LCWU Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Bushra Mateen said the department had all modern facilities needed to teach pharmacology. She said she did not know why the FPC officials were not willing to accredit the university for the degree.

The students of the programme, on the other hand, said the FPC was playing with their lives.
The LCWU's Pharmacy Department was established in 2002, and its first batch of D-Pharmacy is set to graduate in March.

Dr Mateen said eight months ago, a team from the FPC had visited the department and were given a briefing about the departments, but the department was yet to be accredited. She said the department's building was almost complete. She added that the university had rented another building off the campus to be used by the department. She said the FPC had objected on why other departments were using Pharmacy Department classes when the rooms were free. She said that instead of appreciating the university for good management of limited resources, the council was creating problems in the accredition.

Punjab Pharmacy Council secretary Shamoon Chaudhry said the LCWU administration had promised the FPC that it would build a purposeful building and laboratories for the Pharmacy Department by March, but had not done so. He said the department could not be accredited without a building and proper facilities. He said the FPC had not approved several pharmacy degree institutions all over the country because of lack of facilities. He said he knew that many students were nearing the end of their courses at the department and were worried about their future.
Shamsa, a student at the LCWU Pharmacy Department, said the students were concerned about the FPC's attitude. She said the LCWU's Pharmacy Department was well equipped and there was no reason why their degree should not be approved.

Another student said the students had paid the fees for the courses for five years and now they were being told that their degree might not be approved. She said that without an approved degree, they would not get any jobs.
Irum, a student, said most of the students wanted to apply for higher studies, but could not do it without recognised degrees.

LCWU Pharmacy Department head Prof Azmat Rasheed said his department boasted of very bright students. He said the LCWU had provided them experts as visiting faculty members so that they could get the best education the university could offer. He said the department had not given admission to any student who had scored less than 70 percent in their previous classes and they were assets of the country. Prof Rasheed said there was no reason why they should face any problem in their careers because of the FPC's refusal to recognise their degrees.

Khawaja Tahir Mehmood, a teacher at the department, said the department had focussed on practical training of the D-Pharmacy students and the LCWU's examination system also fulfilled all the demands of Pharmacy education.

Source: Daily Times

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