Plea for full-fledged NEET training centres with dedicated staff
There is only one private publishing company’s quality study material available in Tamil language for those preparing to take National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) in the district, apart from the school textbooks. Teachers say this has put Tamil medium students of government and government-aided schools at a disadvantaged position, when compared to English medium students who can access several quality study materials.
A School Education department official says that out of the 77 government and government-aided Tamil medium students in the district, who attended the online NEET crash course during the COVID-19 pandemic, 24 have qualified in the examination. “We distributed Tamil study material consisting of two volumes each for Biology, Physics and Chemistry to government school heads during the COVID-19 pandemic. They were asked to lend the books to the students who were enrolled in the online NEET crash course,” he says.
However, some students were unable to have access to these books owing to restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, says S. Vennila Devi, district coordinator for government-sponsored NEET programme.
T. Prathap, a Tamil medium student of Kallar Reclamation School in Chekkanoorani, says he was able to have access to books only one month before the examination. “I could have prepared better had they been available from the beginning of the academic year,” he says.
However, it is a pity that Tamil study material is available from only one private publisher, says Vijintha, a Chemistry teacher of Government Higher Secondary School at Vellaiyampatti. "Before these books were available, the teachers had a hard time translating the questions from English books,” she says
The State board textbooks do not have sufficient multiple choice questions that are similar to the questions asked in NEET, says Ms. Vennila Devi.
Hence, the government must take steps to bring in more number of superior NEET study materials in Tamil, so that Tamil medium students can perform better, says S. Murugan, district secretary of Tamil Nadu Graduate and Postgraduate Teachers Association. “The government has set up a proper training institute for civil services examination aspirants in Chennai. Similarly, it must set up full-fledged NEET training centres with a dedicated team of teachers in all the districts. This will help government and government-aided school students to prepare in a better way for the examination,” he says.
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