NEET hasn’t created the equality of opportunity it had promised

Synopsis: The recent move of the Tamil Nadu government to bypass the NEET exam requires careful analysis of the issues surrounding the NEET.

Introduction

The government of India cleared the way for making NEET a common entrance examination for all medical colleges across India. This was opposed by many states including Tamil Nadu.

What steps have been taken by Tamil Nadu?

The government of Tamil Nadu appointed a committee under Justice AK Rajan. The committee found that NEET is biased towards the pattern of the CBSE syllabus.

Based on the recommendations, the government of Tamil Nadu passed a law that provided that NEET is not the only means through which admission can be secured in medical colleges in Tamil Nadu. The bill, however, has not yet received the President’s assent.

Read more: National Entrance cum Eligibility Test(NEET) – Issues and Significance- Explained, pointwise

What are the challenges created by NEET?

The first challenge is the inequality of participation. NEET assumes that all students have the same social-economic background and are equally placed. This is what political philosopher and Nancy Fraser called “parity of participation“.

According to him, maldistribution of resources is an impediment to parity of participation. With regard to NEET, socio-economic inequalities and the absence of objective conditions are unfair because they hinder the parity of participation.

Secondly, it crushes what sociologist Arjun Appadurai called “capacity to aspire of Marginalised students. The report stated that coaching institutes create an impression that these exams cannot be cleared without repeated coaching sessions. Given the price and cost of these coaches, they remain out of reach for a majority of the students.

Read moreInequity and injustice writ large – Regarding NEET 

What can be the solution?

National Education Policy ,2020  provides some initiatives which can solve the problem. It focuses on multi-lingual learning. It also focuses on educating in the mother tongue as that is regarded as the best medium to learn any subject or concept.

There is also a need to restructure the focus of NEET such that it can encompass the varied school curriculum and regional languages. The methodology should be innovative and should not require repeated coaching.

All the steps taken together can solve the challenges related to NEET and also help realize the vision of national education policy.

Source: This post is based on the article “NEET hasn’t created the equality of opportunity it had promised” published in the Indian Express on 16th October 2021.

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