The Australian department of immigration and border protection has started refusing study visa applications of Indian students who have done their Class XII from a school affiliated to the Punjab School Education Board.
In a rejection letter sent to an Indian student who had applied for a “vocational education and training sector (subclass 572) visa”, the department has said that “education and examinations conducted through the PSEB are not listed as equivalent to an Australian Grade 12 qualification under the Australian Education International – National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition Guidelines (AEI-NOOSR)”.
Though The Times of India has withheld the boy’s name, it is in possession of the letter sent by a visa officer of the department who is posted at the Australian high commission in New Delhi. “As such, I am not satisfied that your current educational background is that you have completed the equivalent of an Australia Grade 12 qualification,” the letter reads further.
It may be mentioned here that there is lot of craze among Indian students to go to Australia on the basis of student visa. “Though applications by students for studying in Australia have been rejected in the past also on different grounds, but citing this reason is completely new,” said Sukant Trivedi, who runs a travel advisory firm in Jalandhar with special focus on student visas for Australia. “There have been several rejections on this ground in the last couple of days,” he added.
Meanwhile, taking serious view of the issue, Punjab education minister Daljit Singh Cheema convened a meeting of senior functionaries of the state’s education department on Sunday and decided to immediately take up the matter with the Union ministries of external affairs and human resource development.
Cheema said a detailed demi-official letter had been prepared and sent to both the ministries. “PSEB is one of the best boards in the country. Till date, thousands of students who have passed from PSEB are studying in different parts of the world and excelling in their respective fields. The board is strictly following the National Curriculum Framework – 2005 and is a member of the Council of Board of Secondary Education (COBSE),” he added.
He said that if any student of the Board faces any difficulty regarding visa, then he should immediately bring the matter to the notice of the chairperson of the board, so that this matter could be further raised at the highest level at the earliest
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