While Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK and its allies have been campaigning against the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) which, they say, would lead to destruction of medical education in the state as it does not favours government school students, students of government schools, and government-aided schools have improved their performance much beyond expectations.
In Madurai district alone, 88 students from government schools qualified in the NEET and according to teachers and students of the area, this was due to the students attending e-box training classes conducted by the School Education Department.
Madurai’s Chief Educational Officer R. Swaminathan told IANS that “e-box training of the School Education Department for entrance examinations was attended by 508 students of government school and government-aided schools. We conducted three model examinations and this has helped the confidence of the students in taking NEET”.
In Madurai, while 21 students from government schools qualified NEET and got admissions through 7.5 per cent reservation while around 55 students are eligible to get admission for medicine.
The district Education Department claimed that this would increase to 60 once the data of the NEET repeaters is also released.
Almost all districts of Tamil Nadu have shown a marked improvement in the performance of government school students and many of the students said that they could understand the intricacies of the examination.
Talking to IANS, Soubagyalakshmi, a student of a government school in Kanniyakumari, said: “I have scored 414 marks in NEET and am eligible for admission to MBBS under the 7.5 per cent internal reservation for government school students. This is made possible due to the coaching extended by the School Education Department and my teachers.”
Several students from impoverished backgrounds have also cracked the NEET exam in 2021.
Hailing from a poor background and supported by a differently-abled mother, Radhakrishnan, from MGR Colony, Athu Pollachi in Coimbatore district, cracked the exam with 406 marks and is expected to join a government medical college under the ST quota.
He told IANS that he was supported by a private institute in Coimbatore for a nominal fee.
Dindigul, Tirunelveli, Theni, Kanniyakumari districts of south Tamil Nadu also saw huge improvement in the performance of government school students in NEET.