The equivalence and admission criteria for O-level and A-level students pursuing Intermediate (FA, FSc) and Bachelor (BA and BSc) studies under the Pakistan education system are absurd and discriminatory. The situation is worst for O-level students who switched over to FA or FSc studies. Even if they have been high achievers, their grades are significantly lowered in their intermediate examinations. The credit for this sad state of affairs go to Pakistan’s floppy education system and teachers who do not conform to international standards. Such teachers are given the responsibility to check O-level student’s examination papers and fail to judge the student’s calibre. As a result, most students end up with unreasonable grades or remain unsuccessful in their FA and FSc examinations.For example, a student who secures an A grade in both English language and English literature in O-levels will only receive 49 marks out of 100 once her grades are converted for FA One O-level student told me that once his O-level grades for physics and mathematics were converted to FSc, he ended up with zero marks! Furthermore, the education system does not even allow students to ask for a re-check and correction of their exam scores. It is the height of callousness that students do not have the right to appeal in such an unjust system. There is no other country on earth that runs it’s education in such an absurd manner. The same is true for the irrational and downright cruel equivalence and conversion formula and test checking methods for admission through foreign grades introduced by the Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC). The IBCC is the body which decides and grants equivalence to students with foreign qualifications with Pakistani certificates at the Secondary School Certificate (SSC), Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) and technical education. The IBCC has refused to accept the Percentage Uniform Marks system from the Cambridge International Examination (CIE) for equivalence. It has claimed that the proposed system will put those at lower limits of A and E grades at a disadvantageOnly God knows what the architects of this sloppy doctrine were thinking when they came up with this ridiculous set of rules. But it remains clear that F.A and FSc students always have an upper hand over O-level and A-level students in the race for admissions at public and private universities. It is even more preposterous that admission tests for MCAT, ECAT, NUST and LUMS or not set according to CIE standardisation but on FSc Hence O-level and A-level students who have spent five years of their lives under the Cambridge education system are forced to prove their academic credentials on an FSc based examination. Technically speaking, both Pakistan education system and CIE system are poles apart. Their dynamics and functionality are totally different. Their syllabus, learning skills, educational standards, methods, communication parameters, bases of knowledge, teaching style and examination patterns have no similarities with each other. It is beyond comprehension how an equivalence system and paper-checking mechanism can treat two systems with infinite disparities and differences equally. Yet this insane policy has been in paractice over many years. In 2010, the government of Pakistan, ministry of education and IBCC issued a revision notification in it’s 127th meeting under Resolution No 23, which approved an equivalence and revised conversion formula for foreign grades, marks and scales into the Pakistani Educational qualification Equivalent Marks (PEQM).Despite some pragmatic suggestions, the IBCC refused to accept the Percentage Uniform Marks (PUM) system from the Cambridge International Examination (CIE) for equivalence. They claimed this would be a disadvantage to the lower limits of the A and E grades. Under the revised conversion formula for the GCE O and A level, the IBCC laid down a policy which dictated that after the introduction of an A* for O and A level, CIE grade A*, A, B, C, D and E will be equated to the IBCC equivalent marks of 90, 85, 75, 65, 55 and 45 respectively.Some universities had been admitting O-level and A-level students without pursuing PEQM mechanism despite the IBCC policy. However this small measure of relief is no more as of last week. The National Quality Assurance Committee (NQAC) during its 22nd meeting announced that the IBCC equivalence certificate is mandatory for admission in all public and private universities. In comparison to our local FSc and BSc students, O-level and A-level students are considered the cream of society. They are recognised by leading universities and employers worldwide for their academic ability. They are free to study 70 subjects in any combination. They are programmed and designed up to the level of international market and standards. Their education is regarded as a passport to success in education, university and employment. It is highly unfortunate that the government is being so unjust to them, as more and more of these students are choosing to pursue foreign education and careers as a result of the IBCC’s ridiculous policies.There is a dire need that the situation be addressed by the ministry of education. The only sensible way forward is to evaluate students under the Pakistani education system and the CIE system separately. I hope that the government will look into this issue and fix this problem before Pakistan loses to many of it’s best and brightest minds. The writer is a senior journalist working for China Radio International Online and South China Morning Post. He is alumni of ICFJ and award-winner of China friendly Netizen 2017. He pitches articles on diplomacy, security, economy and foreign affairs. He may be reached at email@example.com or @yasirkhannPublished in Daily Times, October 17th 2017.