The Debate: NEET, CBSE or Other exams, Ultimate aim of education: Cramming or quality!

The test (NEET) was made mandatory as a common platform for entry into different medical colleges and later, as recommended by Committee of Eminent Persons, it was supposed become the single entry point for gateway to different engineering colleges as well.

Created On: Jun 7, 2016 09:00 IST
Modified On: Jun 7, 2016 10:01 IST

The much hyped debate over NEET (The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) has been put to a halt with ordinance signed by The President. The test (NEET) was made mandatory as a common platform for entry into different medical colleges and later, as recommended by Committee of Eminent Persons, it was supposed become the single entry point for gateway to different engineering colleges as well.

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Most of the opposition come against the fact that the whole exam syllabus was agreed to be based on NCERT syllabus. This decision was taken as partial favour to CBSE board students against other state boards. With announcement of CBSE class XII result, it is known to everybody that the top notch student scored 99.40 percent. The common entrance test (NEET) based on CBSE syllabus was looked as unfair decision for students from other boards.

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For a while, if one keeps these CBSE vs other board battle aside and looks at the difference between concept and main objectives of board exams and entrance exams; the obvious huge conflict of aim of study is visible. Likewise, there is enormous gap of objectives of study between so called entrance examination and the curriculum of respective professional courses.

Now a day, students are scoring perfect or near perfect scores in all subjects. One can easily finds a list of students scoring perfect grades in the subjects which were otherwise taken as hindrance in securing full out of full marks. Besides scoring perfect marks in maths, physics and chemistry; now students are following the same trend in languages also. Even subjects like humanities and English are beaten by today’s examination oriented students.

Let’s look at the other aspect of this exam oriented study system of our country. Parents as well as teachers both promote coaching centres aggressively to enable the students to stand among top notch ones in the race to excellence. Once established with aim to impart education to weak students, now these coaching centres have become mandatory part of lives of all students irrespective of their intelligence level. Parent do not even think twice before spending a huge amount in these coaching centres which have actually become a “bane” for students. The main objective of these centres is to enable the student to crack the examination of his/her choice by this or that means. They do not even think about imparting conceptual education but only aim to give students short tricks and cramming habit to crack the desired gateway. This whole spoiled education system has become “bane” rather than “boon” for the students. The result is that irrespective of the actual intelligence level of students, they are able to crack the entrance examinations which are far beyond their academic level. Students as well as their parents and the coaching institutes indulge in festivities upon grand success of their students. But the actual result is yet to come!

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Having tasted the grand success via cramming habit, these students enter the professional courses where creativity, innovation, original thinking, comprehension etc are the main threads of curriculum. Lack of these educational qualities make these “once successful-toppers” to fall exponentially in terms of their performance in the chosen professional courses. Once succeeded with hep of rote learning and proved exceptionally brilliant by media and family, these student are mostly unable to keep pace with creative and innovative professional courses. The whole thing results in unexpected failure of these superlative students as their cramming habit does not help them anymore.

There are several examples where the exam oriented studies and coaching centres raised successful candidates. These super students even cracked examinations like JEE and AIPMT and found their gateway to enter national level engineering and medical colleges. Teachers, families, friends and coaching institutes imparted highly boosted moral to these students. But the conceptual and original thinking based studies in professional courses made these students to fall on their faces. Somehow, if these students manage to clear first few semesters; mostly they end up with highly depressed mental level due to their failure to cope with the system and finally take way to extreme actions i.e. suicide!

Now, if we rewind the whole case; it is not fault of students whose surrounding imparted highly boosted moral to them just for their superficial success. The faulty education system having roots in rote learning took toll of precious lives. The lives and the talents; which could otherwise be shaped in perfect way of learning to make them withstand the creative learning curriculum of higher courses. Some strong students somehow manage to stand against the way to suicide; yet they suffer from high depression, mental trauma, pressure, stress from all around. Their families, friends, teachers and institutes expect them to perform exceptionally as they did once with help of cramming habits.

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Kota, Rajasthan has provided most obvious example. Every year, around 1.5 lac talents enter the city from all around the country with a hope to enter the gateway of their desired aim. Parents put their hard earnings at stake which in turn put extra pressure on students to excel in the examination by any means. Coaching institutes support them and sprout one “aim” in their mind: to crack the exam. They even indulge cramming habit to achieve the success. Family pressure, teacher’s hopes, highly competitive atmosphere all together put the students under physical and mental stress.

The same things are happening in all branches of education in our country. It is high time to rethink; to reform the main objectives of education rather than indulging in debate of NEET vs CET or State boards vs CBSE.

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