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Saturday, April 13 2024
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Inequality in Entrance Exam Preparation for Pre-University Students

Inequality in Entrance Exam Preparation for Pre-University Students in Karnataka
Photo Credit : File photo

As pre-university (PU) students in the science stream gear up for the Common Entrance Test (CET) and National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) in Karnataka, disparities in access to coaching have emerged, particularly affecting those in government colleges. Students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds enrolled in government colleges, especially in smaller towns, find themselves at a disadvantage, lacking the special coaching opportunities available to their peers in private institutions.

While many students in private colleges seamlessly integrate special coaching into their regular classes, those in government colleges are left without this vital support. The absence of tailored coaching has left aspiring professionals feeling uncertain about their chances in these competitive exams.

Lamenting the lack of resources, a student from a government PU college in Shivamogga shared, “We feel our dreams cannot go beyond a certain point.” The financial burden of specialized coaching, with some subject experts charging up to ₹35,000, is an insurmountable obstacle for many students.

Chandana, a student from Thirthahalli taluk, dreams of studying medicine but expresses her lack of confidence due to the absence of specialized training. Despite hopes for guidance from PU college lecturers, she notes disappointment with only two classes organized for CET and NEET preparation.

The challenges extend beyond urban-rural divides, with Umma Aiman from Thirthahalli emphasizing the unique nature of CET and NEET compared to annual exams. The absence of proper coaching leaves students uncertain about their ability to secure seats in professional courses.

Rural students, aiming for paramedical courses if medical or engineering seats are out of reach, face additional hurdles, as CET became mandatory for nursing courses since 2023. This further limits educational options for those unable to participate in the entrance tests.

The students argue that the current system of entrance tests appears to favor urban affluent students, who have access to private colleges offering year-round coaching for CET and NEET. A lecturer from a government PU college in Shivamogga echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the focus of private institutions on entrance tests over annual board exams.

Sindhu B. Rupesh, Director of Pre-University Education, clarified that there is no official communication instructing or prohibiting lecturers in government colleges from conducting special coaching for CET and NEET in the current academic year. However, students remain hopeful, as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced a NEET-JEE-CET training program for students in government PU colleges in the 2024 budget, potentially addressing this critical issue in the next academic year.

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