Dear IBA, your policy-makers need a heart

Published: June 23, 2011

A man who was an IBA alumni, who wished for nothing other than for his kids to go to this the same institute, was not given the due respect by the same place.

I am a student of Institute of Business Administration (IBA). For four years  I had been grateful towards the institute but now, when I needed it most, IBA bailed on me.

During the last few days of my Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) programme, my father fell extremely ill and passed away with an unfulfilled wish – to see me graduate.

Coincidentally, my father’s illness and my second set of midterms clashed. I missed three exams because he lay unconscious in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

I needed to talk to the doctors; to do a crash course in medicine to understand my father’s treatment better.

I felt I needed to do this more than anything else in the world. Being the eldest son, my responsibility was huge and it fell on me when I was not expecting it.

Through her grief, what my mother worried about was whether I’d graduate this summer or not.

But, when I requested the management at IBA to let me retake my exams, its response deeply saddened me.

Even after submitting all medical certificates and applications, the authorities at IBA did not allow me to retake my missed exams. I met with many office bearers – lowest to highest. Each conversation started with a condolence and ended with an apology. They could do nothing.

An institute that prides itself for leadership and objective management seems slave to inhumane policies — policies that permit exam retakes for students who represent the school in various conferences, sports or art festivals, but fail to respect precious human relationships.

The last presentation that I sat through at IBA was a parting note from the university. We were told that we were the university’s ambassadors and should promote it because after four years of being under its roof, we owe it this much.

To the management

I ask you: How do they expect us to speak well of your institution when you fail to help us in times of crisis?

As a result of this heartless attitude, I leave IBA disappointed.

My father was an IBA alumni, who wished for nothing more than his kids to go to the same institute. I doubt he would feel that way if he knew they could not even honour his memory.

Leading schools of the world work hard to give their students the best possible experience and service to facilitate their needs. Their role is to make us intelligent human beings, who recognise the importance of good values in life and strike the right balance among all aspects of it.

An individual’s personal life should be respected, not demeaned. Perhaps what is needed here is a lesson on customer service.

Funnily enough, I was only recently taught this.

I ask for change – to ease the worry of the next parent and to make managements  realise that we only have one father.

Bilal Asad

Bilal Asad

A student of BBA Marketing at the Institute of Business Administration.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.