All major colleges and universities around the city have posted admission advertisements in newspapers, fully prepared to have throngs of fretful parents and prospective students ambushing them for admission forms and information. These processes are very overwhelming for parents and students, and not much has been done in the past decade to streamline and professionalise the process.

The Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) that grants O’ level equivalency certificates is one of the most notoriously difficult institutions to deal with. Bribing officials to expedite the conversion process is all too common and delays in issuing the certificate are a constant source of worry for students.

With most of the admission process in reputable universities now computerised, why is it that parents have to go through the extreme hassle of attesting their children’s paperwork and completing the arduous task of submitting everything in person for most public sector and many private colleges? On average, a prospective student will visit the university at least four times till they are admitted in the institution; first to inquire and collect necessary forms, then to submit their paperwork, third to give an interview if selected and then multiple times after that to check the ‘lists’ that they will put up with names of successful applicants.

Is it fair for an average Pakistani to spend resources that they do not have to spare, on an entire month of running around the city to get their child admitted, when all this can be avoided if universities simply ask for online submission of documents and spread information by email or text message? If colleges do not have the capacity to offer online enrolment yet, the paperwork and requirements needs to be cut down on. Education needs to be more accessible to the youth. Old ways of multiple lists, long queues, last-minute attestation demands and photocopy requests need to be done away with. It is sad that in the last four decades we have seen minimal innovation in education administration and management.