Tamil Nadu

Not even 2 percent of Tamil Nadu government school kids study medicine

R K Rajasekaran

MADURAI: How inclusive is a medical education in Tamil Nadu? It’s a far cry, going by the numbers. According to data, only 0.7 per cent of MBBS students in government medical colleges and 1.1 percent in private colleges come from government schools across the State. 

Government school students could secure only 213 of the 29,925 seats in government medical colleges. It is even less in the case of private colleges, where only 65 of the whopping 6,132 seats were grabbed by students from State-run schools, said The Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University, in response to an RTI application. The data is for the period between 2006 and 2016.

The numbers are drastic, even in top State-run medical colleges. For instance, Madras Medical College admitted 15 students from government schools, while Stanley, Kilpauk and Madurai Medical Colleges admitted 20, 13 and 14 respectively.

The average yearly intake of all of these colleges ranges between 150 and 250. Speaking to Express, K Raju, the RTI applicant, said there is 21 government medical colleges and 16 private ones in the State.

“But it is shocking to know that government school students did not even constitute 2 percent of the total admissions. It shows the existing quality of education in these schools. It’s not that the students aren’t capable, but the system failed to mould them.”

Sharing his observations, educationist P B Prince Gajendra Babu blamed the State government for the drop in educational standards over the last 30 years. 

“When most of the States expressed their inability to develop the public education system, in Tamil Nadu, it was former Chief Minister K Kamaraj who managed to establish at least one primary school within every three-kilometre radius and one high school for every five kilometres,” he added.