NEET 2016: 'It looks like the future is slipping away from us'

To whomsoever it may concern,

I am an elder brother and I want to express my thoughts about the situation my sister is currently facing. I don’t know if it's right or wrong, wise or stupid, but I find that there is no other effective way to inform people about it.

I am from a middle-class family in Nagpur. My sister's dream was to be a doctor. Although she studied in a government-aided school till Class 12, under the Maharashtra State Board, my parents admitted her to a private coaching class after Class 10. That would have easily cost them Rs. 90,000. My sister studied hard and expects a good score in the Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (MHTCET), and expects to be admitted in Government Medical College, Nagpur.

Her hard work was ruined by one decision from the Supreme Court. Her expectations, dreams and fees have now gone down the drain with just one stroke of the pen. Wouldn't it have been better to make this decision two years before or two years after? Students who have never studied in CBSE are now expected to appear in the exam conducted by CBSE. The syllabus for both is different and so is the approach.  The total marks for the state CET are 200, for the NEET, they are 720. CET is based on Class 12 syllabus and the state board, while NEET is based Class 11 and 12 syllabus of the CBSE.

My sister and countless other students like her, who had prepared hard for the last two years, were supposed to appear for CET on 5 May 2016. But the Supreme Court (on 29 April) decided to implement NEET from the current academic year. The state’s education minister consoled the students saying that the CET would be held and the merit list would be prepared. But on 9 May, the Supreme Court scrapped all common entrance tests and decided that the second part of NEET would be held on 24 July 2016, instead.

Representational image. AFP.

Representational image. AFP.

I come from a humble background and I've seen my parents work hard so that their children can live in a better future. But it looks like the future is slipping away from us. Whom should we expect justice from?

We're not against NEET, but such a hasty implementation, especially when state exams are just around the corner, is unfair to students who have been preparing for a year. It's only fair that we're informed well in advance, how and when the exam should be taken, and according to which syllabus and pattern.

I feel that the state government failed to take a proper stand in the Supreme Court, which took this decision because corruption usually takes place during admissions in private colleges, that give seats based on sizeable donations. Students who can pay hefty sums can afford to go abroad to earn their degree. What can students from poor backgrounds do? What about students who cannot afford to study in a CBSE school? Does it mean that students who cannot afford education should forego professional education?

Due to the implementation of the judgment from this academic year, no state board student will be able to compete with CBSE students. NEET needs to be implemented from next year so that state board students can have adequate time to adapt to the new system and pattern.

This issue has been raised in Parliament. But when will a decision be taken on this? After the NEET Phase 2? Meanwhile, private tuitions have started new classes to help students complete the course in two months, for just Rs. 30,000-50,000.

Where I come from, the temperature during the day is anywhere between 43 and 47 degree celsius in May and June. And attending these classes in such weather conditions is unbearable.

I don't have the experience to address issues such as this one. But I think writing about it will help the situation at hand.

Updated Date: May 15, 2016 12:26 PM

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