Representative image
Representative image

Give resources, begin training from Class 11 itself, say aspirants

Due to the poor performance of government school students in NEET this year, aspirants, trainers and government coaching centre staff share challenges and struggles faced by students in acing the test.

CHENNAI: Due to the poor performance of government school students in NEET this year, aspirants, trainers and government coaching centre staff share challenges and struggles faced by students in acing the test. They want coaching to begin a year earlier with enough study material and adequate government-run classes.

A 17-year-old Vishak (name changed), a tribal student from Pachaimalai Hills, is a classic case of how despite securing high marks in State government exams, obtaining a similar score in NEET is a real hurdle. Vishak had secured 551 marks out of 600 in Class 12 exam. But he was able to only secure 202 marks out of 720 in NEET this year. As Vishak is doubtful if he can bag a medical seat with his NEET marks, he is ready to look for paramedical courses.

“I stayed in a hostel, paid Rs 45,000 and prepared for NEET. Due to the uncertainty of a medical seat, my father suggested that I try paramedical courses as well,” avers Vishak whose parents are farmers. “I did not find the coaching or the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) syllabus tough, but preparations should have started a year earlier.”

Meanwhile, B Brinda of Villupuram who secured 467 marks in NEET and 593 marks in Class 12 insisted on having coaching centres in every government school. She says: “Students are selected on certain criteria for government coaching in model schools. This can deprive other students who have the potential but do not get selected. That’s why coaching in all government schools is crucial. And it must begin from Class 11 onwards.”

When asked if NEET should be scrapped, Brinda added, “Lack of resources is the main reason for poor State performance. But, NEET can be allowed, provided we provide students with resources.”

Prof S Gopinath of a private college concurs and adds that government school students have enough calibre to clear NEET. “Lack of adequate resources and coaching from Class 11 are the only reasons why students from government school perform poorly,” points out Gopinath, who has been a NEET trainer for 4 years.

The department sources added that the State government is planning to start a school of excellence with competitive exam coaching at Saidapet, south region, for children in and around the locality.

Explaining the government coaching, including NEET, an education department official said, “The education department has laid out a set of criteria to select students for avail coaching. This is strictly followed and cannot be tampered with. However, due to such policies there are chances that eligible and interested students can miss out on coaching.”

Further, the official said that to improve NEET results, the training must begin much earlier. “Coaching should begin from Class 11 so that students don’t feel rushed or stressed,” stated the official.

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