Confusion Over National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET)
National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET)
The District Entrance Examination Performance Enhancement and Research (DEEPER), an educational organisation engaged in conducting mock common entrance tests for students aspiring to enroll for engineering and medicine courses, demanded on Saturday that the state government must make it clear whether the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for entrance into medical colleges, is to be held for the years 2011-12 or not.
Human resource development minister Kapil Sibal had proposed the idea of the NEET in February this year based on a national core curriculum for science and mathematics for all school boards. He had said that the exam would be held in 2013. However, subsequently, the Supreme Court directed the state government to hold the NEET from 2011.
“If NEET is to be conducted for 2011-12, then that intention ought to be reconsidered as students of class XII have already prepared for various common entrance tests across the state according to the syllabus prescribed by the Maharashtra State Board, whereas the NEET prescribes the CBSE syllabus. The NEET should be held in 2013, that too, if criteria pertaining to clarification of syllabus and availability of text books are met. The future of nearly three lakh students across the state is at stake, and the government should not rush into conducting this new exam without enough time and thought,” said Harish Butle, founder secretary, DEEPER, while addressing a news conference here.
Elaborating further, Butle said that while he welcomed the idea of a NEET, which would remove the pressure of appearing for random common entrance tests after std XII, there ought to be prior preparation for the same.
“When the Supreme Court directed the state government to conduct NEET for 2011-12 academic year, Milind Mhaiskar, secretary of the department of technical and higher education, agreed. We really wonder as to the basis of the government’s willingness (to go ahead with the examination) considering the inconvenience caused to the students and the complete lack of clarity regarding the exact syllabus to be studied,” said Butle.
He further read out the questions posed by S S Wadje, DEEPER’s representative for Nanded, in an October 11, 2010 letter addressed to the secretary of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.
Wadje asked when exactly the NEET was to be held and if it was to be held in 2013, was it supposed to be based on the national core curriculum. He wanted to know who would prepare that core curriculum.
His letter further asked that if the national core curriculum was to be prepared by the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT), why the state board was upgrading its own syllabus and spending money on publishing new textbooks, which wouldn’t be used. “Similarly, if there is going to be a disparity between the core curriculum and books prescribed by the state board, which books are the students supposed to study from? Also, the state board ought to make it clear whether the NEET is to be held on both std XI and XII syllabi or only on the std XII syllabus,” the letter asked.
Butle said that the board had not replied to any of these questions so far. “Both parents and students are in a confused state of mind. They don’t know what they are supposed to do. It is quite unfair if the NEET is held from 2011 onwards, for the students are only familiar with the old syllabus,” he said.