In a major setback to thousands of doctor aspirants from government schools, the much-hyped free coaching for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) by the State government, which has already been truncated so far due to several holidays, is expected to be suspended further due to revision tests and practical exams in February besides board exams in March.
This puts at peril the future of about 15,000 students in government and government-aided schools, who want to appear for NEET and have registered for the free coaching classes. The coaching has been established in 412 centres across Tamil Nadu by engaging various experts and former students, who cracked the NEET.
NEET training was given to students during weekends while regular day coaching was given during the quarterly exams. As a series of holidays were declared by the government for local body polls as well as other festivals, NEET coaching centres have remained closed since mid of December.
A senior official from the School Education department told DT Next that only 20 training sessions were held since the NEET centres started functioning this year. “Since annual practical exams and revision test for Class 11 and Class 12 students will be held in February besides board exams in March, the NEET coaching, which will be conducted till January end, will start only by April,” he said. Pointing out that the NEET coaching is expected to resume by April first week, the official said that daily classes will be held from April to compensate the holidays.
“Many questions could not be solved without trainers since most of them are complicated. Perhaps, it is very difficult to crack NEET exam this year”, S Prakash, a Class 12 student from Chennai said. He said few of his classmates have started going to private coaching centres through sponsors. “How many students like me would get sponsor for private training,” he said. Despite conducting free training in NEET regularly as per the schedule last year, only 2,577 students from government and government aided schools were able to pass the exam while only four students could secure above 400 marks. In 2018, three government school students received seat in government medical college, while four others obtained admission at private colleges under State quota. In addition, 13 students from aided schools received admission, taking the total count to 20 in 2018.