For the last three years, 60,000 students from government and government-aided schools across the State were given free coaching organised by the School Education Department. In addition, though several organisations also sponsored economically backward students for private coaching, reality remains grim as hardly any government student managed to crack the exam. S Mohan Kumar, a medical aspirant who studied in a government school in Chennai and got free coaching, could not score beyond 200 even after his second attempt. “Just six months of free coaching is not enough. Many students in private schools get into costly private coaching when they enter Class 9 itself,” he said.
Government data shows, during the last five years, only a little over 100 students from government schools have joined medical colleges against 10,000 candidates from private schools in Tamil Nadu. NEET coaching experts said that though State board syllabus is based on competitive exam, success cannot be attained only by going through the school curriculum. “Clearing NEET needs special attention. Many of the questions could be answered even by government school students. But completing the test within the stipulated time needs extra training,” K Natarajan, a NEET tutor at a private institution for the last two years in the city, said. “The coaching period is very less compared to other commercial training institutes. The only solution is to nurture the government school students from Class 10 itself,” he added. A retired medical college professor, who imparted training at a government training centre in Chennai, seeking anonymity, said that the motivation of most of the students who participated in the coaching was negligible. “As a part of free coaching, the government could include motivation classes, counselling sessions, and special training material,” he added. Speaking about the poor results of government school students this year, a senior official from the School Education Department said, “Due to various reasons, including local body polls and long holiday period, besides government petition against NEET in the apex court, only about two months free training was available to the students.” He said with Assembly polls due in May 2021, the authorities will face difficulty in conducting free coaching from March, which is the usual schedule.
Stalin questions anomalies: Questioning the anomalies in the NEET results declared on Friday, DMK president M K Stalin on Saturday reiterated that the Centre should withdraw the test which deprives rural and poor urban students from pursuing medical admission. Accusing the NTA of gambling with the lives of the students, Stalin referred to withdrawal of initial results and publication of fresh results by the agency and said the students were shocked.