New NEET format will further privatise education: Experts

Experts opine the plan to fully computerise NEET, IIT-JEE tests will also demean value of school education system.

Published: 15th July 2018 04:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2018 10:57 PM   |  A+A-

File pictures of students appearing for NEET. | EPS

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Union Minister of Human Resource Development (MHRD) Prakash Javadekar last Saturday announced that NEET and IIT-JEE will be held twice a year in a fully computerised manner. However, experts opine that the new format will further privatise education and demean the value of school education system.

The Joint Entrance Examination (Mains) [JEE-Mains] and the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) will now be conducted twice a year instead of just once. Students can take JEE in January and April and NEET in February and May and the best of two scores will be considered, he announced.

The two tests would be equated using psychometric methods, standardisation techniques and best of the equated scores would be used for the admissions. Such a set-up will improve transparency of the exam process.

With this move, aspirants don’t have to wait a year to take these exams again for improvement. Students can either take the exam during their schooling or right after, to enter college the next year. Students who can wait for a year, do not have to stay put till next summer to write the exams.

Several central exams to enter National Defence or Naval Academy already follow a similar pattern. However, what sets JEE and NEET apart is that the number of aspirants who take the exam are much higher. About 25 lakh students across the country took these exams in 2018.

EDITORIAL | NEET retains its tag of being elitist

Given that the number of seats for both medicine and engineering at prestigious institutions- are low, the exams are one that is of high stake for students. Having these exams twice would undermine the value of school education, opined educationalist Prince Gajendrababu.

Although students can write the exams just once, most aspirants will end-up taking it twice. The first set of exams, will coincide with students’ practical and model exams.

Integrated programmes to coach students for competitive exams became so rampant in Tamil Nadu, that the State government had recently issued a circular warning schools not to tie-up with private parties to engage in coaching for competitive exams. Schools often demand fees much higher the sum proposed by the fee determination committee in return for integrated training.

In a circular sent to all Chief Educational Officers of districts, it has been warned that schools which do not fall in line would have to face penal action including withdrawal of recognition. “Violation of these rules by private schools would invite stringent penal action under the stipulations of Tamilnadu Recognised Private Schools (Regulation Act) 1973,” said S  Kannappan, Director of Matriculation schools.

A report by MHRD in 2016 estimated that a revenue of nearly Rs 24,000 crores per year is being involved in private coaching classes. The figure is still a rough under-statement as students who go to coaching centres, get trained for more than a year.

The report by MHRD pointed to three main concerns: “The first is philosophical (yet important). The purpose of education is refinement of the mind not passing an entrance examination.  The second concerns the fact that ‘all work and no play’ makes a Plus two grade student a dull individual with less involvement in activities other than studies. The third is that students are forced to waste much time commuting in order to avail themselves of the benefit of ‘good’ coaching."

High stakes
Given that the number of seats at prestigious institutions- are low, these exams are of a high stake for students. Having them exams twice a year would undermine the value of school education, said educationalist Prince Gajendrababu.

Rural students
When reporters asked Javadekar if the computer-based tests will put rural students at a disadvantage, he defended saying that students who take these exams already have exposure to computers.

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Comments(10)

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  • Kumaravelu

    Following are my view: (1) Though there should be a national level entrance examination for all professional courses, a viable formula should be established to take into consideration the performance of students in school too, in addition to entrance score. This formula should capture the performance of students from beginning of 11th std till end of 12th std. in school. The formula should be evolved through brainstorming of scholars in education sectors. (2) Until there is adequate evidence that all higher secondary students are having minimum exposure to computer, computer based exam should not be allowed. Though the above views may sound unviable superficically, it is not impossible to evolve such a formula.
    3 months ago reply
  • Mohan

    Thanks
    4 months ago reply
  • Ghoda

    I don't recall that my ward ever attended the school classes in std.11th & 12th! He joined private classes
    4 months ago reply
  • Ghanashyam Chirania

    It is true.It is nothing but playing with future of students by testing own thoughts or burocrates thought against time tested system. It is going to creat a boom in highly commercial coaching sector forging students to have coaching which presently is taken by elites.He wants to make India USA by making online competitive entrance exam .but is not aware that there are schools and colleges in places where there is no electricity not to speak of internet.He just finished by saying that one who take this exam has exposure to computer but I can show him thousands and thousands students who have not touched computer Is he not aware that there is no compulsory computer paper till today and he claims of exposure.He has taken urban and burocrates advise and have not taken into the rural population and grass root reality.
    4 months ago reply
  • Ghanashyam Chirania

    It is true.It is nothing but playing with future of students by testing own thoughts or burocrates thought against time tested system. It is going to creat a boom in highly commercial coaching sector forging students to have coaching which presently is taken by elites.He wants to make India USA by making online competitive entrance exam .but is not aware that there are schools and colleges in places where there is no electricity not to speak of internet.He just finished by saying that one who take this exam has exposure to computer but I can show him thousands and thousands students who have not touched computer Is he not aware that there is no compulsory computer paper till today and he claims of exposure.He has taken urban and burocrates advise and have not taken into the rural population and grass root reality.
    4 months ago reply
  • Munish

    New NEET format seems to be of no use and will further create confusion. Feb exam will mostly be taken by droppers as it clashes with Board exams and will further encourage the idea of not taking Board exams seriously and going to dummy schools. Comparison with NDA and Naval Academy is completely wrong since there the entry is also half yearly unlike the proposed NEET where it is going to be two exams but yearly entry. Hope better sense prevails.
    4 months ago reply
  • Bishal Ghosh

    how many attempts will a student get
    4 months ago reply
  • tajmmur

    H
    4 months ago reply
  • Darshan

    Super
    4 months ago reply
  • punch bala

    NEET coaching is a profitable business
    4 months ago reply
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