The students and professionals aspiring to apply for Chevening Scholarships disappointed as faulty online service of British Council Pakistan has barred hundreds of deserving persons to apply. The website remained faulty even on the day before the deadline of March 25.
It is to mention here that the deadline to apply for Chevening Scholarship was March 21, but after the complaints regarding the faulty online submission process the deadline has was extended till March 25.
The applicants continued to contact the officials of the British Council Pakistan and surprisingly each and every one insisted that there was no error or problem in online service, totally ignoring the fact that no one was able to submit his/her application.
“I have tried to submit application from five different locations in last two days but every time I faced the same error message. But much to my surprise when I contacted the officials of British Council Pakistan they flatly refused to admit that there is any kind of problem in online service,” said Shaista Jabeen, who did Masters in Mass Communication.
The last date of submission of application forms for Chevening Scholarship is March 25 that means that hundreds of applicants would not be able to submit their applications due to persistent error in the online service on the website of British Council Pakistan.
Shahid Akhtar, a father of an applicant, said his son is trying to apply for Chevening Scholarship but it seems that they have closed down their service for unknown reasons. “Whenever we contact them they say there is no error in online service but when we try to submit application error message appears on the screen. I think it is highly irresponsible attitude on the part of British Council Pakistan,” he said.
The people continued to make calls in the office of daily ‘The News’ and showed their concern over poor online service of the British Council Pakistan that is likely to deprive many applicants of their chance for Chevening Scholarship.
Riaz Khan, who is also trying to submit application, said when I sent them an email to file complaints, British Council Pakistan in reply sent me some instructions and advised to follow them. He said he followed all suggestions but the problem remained there and he was still not able to submit application despite repeated attempts during the last two days.
“I have once again sent an application to the given email address and told them about the persisting fault in the website, however, this time I didn’t receive any response from the British Council,” he said.
The replies sent by British Council to the complainants over their queries were almost the same. However, the names and designations of British Council employees were different.
British Council Information Centre, Assistant Information Centre Officer, Saneeta Massey in one of the replies said, “Please check if you are filling all the asterisk fields which are mandatory as your form will not be saved and further proceed if any of the mandatory field is not filled completely. Secondly you need to click save button then OK to completely save your entered data.”
She further wrote, “Please note that if you leave the page of the online application idle (unused) for approximately five minutes or more you will be logged out automatically and the page will show you a ‘time out’ message. You need to login again to enter your details,” The complainants however say that they were following all these prescribed procedures but the website was not responding properly as it fails to save the entered data and show the “time out” message in few seconds.
The applicants are in great panic due to the unprofessional attitude of the British Council employees who are not ready to pay any heed to their queries and demanded of the relevant personnel to resolve the issue besides further extending the deadline.
‘The News’ when contacted the officials of Information Centre of British Council, they were not ready to admit that there was some fault with the website or with the online application processing. “There is no problem with our system. You should save whatever you write in the form,” said the official.
An official of British Council has also taken the cell number of this scribe and said that she would call back after a while which she never did.