Saturday, November 18, 2006

Abolition of Common Entrance Tests

With the DMK government in Tamilnadu expressing its intention of brining about a bill for the abolition of the Common Entrance Test, which is used to admit students in various professional courses, a debate about the desirability or otherwise of such a system of selection is surely going to rage till the legal position gets settled.

There are varying standards and grading systems being followed in the educational institutions right now. This is resulting in students with varying capacities coming out of them. So there should be a suitable mechanism to keep all the students on an equal footing somehow. And a CET offers the best choice here. Already the apex court and the AICTE (All India Council of Technical Education) have opined in favour of CET. Trying to do away with it, because the students coming from rural background are not able to perform well in them is not the right solution. The intention is to replace the CET based selection with the marks obtained in the qualifying examinations. This is only a shortsighted approach. Can it be anybody’s case that the rural students will be able to outperform the urban students in these qualifying examinations? If it turns out that the rural students are not able to secure adequate representation in the professional courses, what solution will or can be offered then? The solution lies in removing the handicaps being faced by the rural students and affording them better coaching facilities for the CET.