Dispelling the myth among many parents that studying in government schools will not help their wards get into good higher education avenues, information obtained under the Right to Information (RTI ) Act shows that over 38 per cent of students who entered medical colleges in Tamil Nadu last year were from government schools.
In the academic year 2013-14, a total of 3,233 students were enrolled in medical colleges in Tamil Nadu. This included 2,257 admissions to government medical colleges and 976 to private medical colleges.
According to the information provided by the Directorate of Medical Education (DME), of the 3,233 students enrolled in the state, 1,250 (38.66 per cent) were from government schools.
In addition to this, 117 students (3.62 percent) who studied in government-aided schools also got admissions in various medical institutions functioning across the state.
On the other hand, students who passed out from private schools continue to dominate medical education enrolment. As many as 1,865 students (57.69 per cent) who joined medical education last year were from private schools.
Much to everyone’s surprise, only a lone student from a Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE )school managed to get medical admissions in Tamil Nadu in the year 2013.
This information was obtained by V Eswaran, the Youth Wing secretary of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the Directorate of Medical Education.
“This clearly shows that government school students are performing well. This is a big achievement for the government schools. If facilities at government schools are improved, these students will definitely perform better,” said Eswaran.
He added, “Only last year, English medium sections were started at Class VI level in government schools. Once English medium sections are started in Class XII, the standard of government schools will go up.”
G R Ravindranath, general secretary of the Doctors Association for Social Equality (DASE) said, “In the previous years, the enrolment of government school students in medical colleges was only 2-3 per cent. Over 50 per cent of schools in the State are run by the government. As such, steps should be taken to ensure that the number of government school students enrolling in medical colleges crosses 50 per cent.”
He rued that the number of students taking up medical education was nil in certain districts, which needed attention. He added, “Only six students from Tamil Nadu have enrolled in the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), since 2006. More students from Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Punjab enter Central Government institutions, as Tamil Nadu students are not trained for the competition/entrance examinations.”