Uncertainty over NEET 2021 continues: Students Demand postponement, multiple attempts to write MBBS entrance exam
New Delhi: Amid the uncertainty over the conduct of the MBBS entrance test, NEET 2021, the aspirants are demanding its postponement till October. Besides, a Bihar based Students' body- Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) has written a letter to the Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank asking for multiple attempts in medical entrance exam.
Medical Dialogues had been extensively reporting about the long-standing demand of MBBS aspirants seeking deferment of NEET 2021 considering the ongoing unprecedented situation due to coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier, the NTA, operative under the Ministry of Education, the government of India, had informed that the NEET 2021 would be conducted in 11 languages, through Pen & Paper mode on 01 August 2021 (Sunday). The notice by NTA had further stated that the Information Bulletin containing detailed information regarding the Test, syllabus, eligibility criteria for age, reservation, categorization of seats, examination fee, cities of examination, State Code, etc. would be available shortly on the official website after the commencement of submission of Application Forms.
While no further decision was taken on NEET, the registration for the exam, which was supposed to commence from May 1, was kept in abeyance.
Thereafter, last week, it was reported that the Ministry of Education is expected to soon decide on conducting the remaining editions of the medical entrance test in August after processing the situation in all the states and UTs across the country.
Further, certain sources told a media account, NDTV that the exam might get pushed to September. "The pending editions of JEE-Mains are likely to be conducted either at the end of July or August with a fortnight's gap between the two tests. NEET is likely to be pushed to September," a source informed NDTV.
However, this uncertainty has surely taken a toll among the students making them anxious about their future.
Escalating their concern once again on Twitter, the students are demanding postponement of the NEET exam.
Pointing out the possibility of COVID third wave, this user wrote-
Meanwhile, the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) has recently written to Union Education Minister seeking multiple attempts for NEET.
"It is heartening to see that the National Testing Agency will be conducting the JEE for engineering institutions four times this year, giving each student multiple attempts to give their best possible performance, and also allowing for students impacted by health and other concerns to skip a test without having to drop a whole year. A similar decision must be taken for other "high-stakes" exams, including at least NEET and CLAT for medical and law colleges respectively," the SIO wrote in the letter.
"Many of these exams, like the IIT-JEE or NEET, have unfortunately become "high- stakes" events in students lives, with years of preparation and studying condensed into a few pressure-filled hours of examination. Due to these exams often being built up as "make or break" moments in the lives of students, they have become the cause of considerable anxiety and mental health issues, and deserve a fundamental rethink of our approach to higher education," read the letter.
The student body also wants that the number of examination centers to be increased "significantly" and tests to be held in multiple shifts. The organization is an official statement said that it believes that these measures will "reduce stress and anxiety among students while ensuring that they are able to take the exams without compromising their physical and mental health".
"In the middle of the debilitating Covid-19 pandemic, the issue of conducting examinations for various levels of students has acquired a level of urgency that must be dealt with as quickly as possible. In view of the seriousness of the situation, unprecedented measures must be considered to ensure that the important task of education and assessment can be carried out without posing a serious risk to the mental and physical well being of a whole generation of students in their formative years," said SIO National President Mohammad Salman Ahmad.
The organisation has proposed that a fixed timeframe of conducting all exams in the next 3-4 months should be notified. "It is high time for us to have a frank conversation on the kind of evaluation system we want for the education of our future generations. We request the Education Ministry to initiate a national dialogue on the issue of examinations with students, teachers, parents, policymakers, and all relevant stakeholders," wrote students demanding an open dialogue on the examination and assessment system of the country.
"The current crisis has once again highlighted how our entire educational system is dangerously dependent on high-stakes annual exams. Multiple studies have shown how such a system encourages rote learning and mastering the performance of examinations, rather than conceptual learning and substantial learning," said Salman Ahmad.