Tamil Nadu Students Explain the Problems With NEET In the State
Tamil Nadu students explain what they think of NEET, and why the state it’s become such a problem in the state.
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
Producer: Smitha TK
This year, three students in Tamil Nadu committed suicide after seeing their NEET results. In a state that has always opposed NEET, the deaths have spurred calls for Tamil Nadu to be exempt from the examination. Proponents of NEET, however, point out that the state has performed much better this year, with pass percentage up by nearly 10%.
The Quint spoke to students who just appeared for NEET to find out what they think - is the test overall a positive for the state, or do those calling for an exemption have a point?
Tamil Nadu has one of the lowest school dropout rates. It enrols 44.3% of those who finish high school into higher educational institutes - that’s the highest gross enrolment ratio into higher education (GER) in India.
Usually in Tamil Nadu, most students shift to state board in XI grade so as to get high marks in XII board exams to make the cutoffs. But many students believe that the state board curriculum doesn’t equip students to preform well in a test like NEET.
“The syllabus of the majority of the matriculation or the government oriented schools are not on par with whatever the NEET is expecting. I would say the NEET is biased towards CBSE.”Ram, Student
The government has always ensured a broad base education so that students can enter college based on their school marks and not via separate entrance tests. This is an attempt to ensure all students, from rural and urban areas, get a fair chance at higher education.
“It gives a fighting chance to every student and makes the medical course available to every student that comes from below the poverty line or a middle class family that usually cannot afford the high fees imposed by the medical colleges,” said a student Muhammed Raihan.
Many said that students from lower economic backgrounds don’t have access to private coaching to prepare specifically for NEET.
So, that brings the question of equality in such NEET exams. “Parents in metropolitan cities like Chennai and Coimbatore send their kids from Class 9 to NEET coaching. People in rural areas can’t do that. They can’t afford for Rs 2.5 lakh per year,” said a student.
Many students said that while they are not opposed to the idea of NEET, they want the government to ensure all students have a fair and equal chance. “This field (medicine) is about changing people’s life and you just can’t, like, you know, select people on the basis of their Class 12 marks. There should be some kind of criteria (that shortlists the right students),” said a student.
They proposed that government include NEET training as part of the XII syllabus and start affordable coaching centres in all parts of the state, including rural areas.
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