NEET/JEE Exams To Be Held: Students Say It Risks Life, Parents Worried But Helpless

Congress protest NEET JEE
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Mehab Qureshi

Pune, August 28, 2020: After the Supreme Court (SC) has given a go-ahead signal to National Testing Agency (NTA) to organise the National Eligibility Entrance Test for Undergraduate medicine and dental courses (NEET-UG) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), many states have appealed to SC to review the decision stating it is putting students’ life at risk. The chaos linked to the examinations have now reached a peak in the city, and mixed reactions of different people are observed related to the present issue. 

We spoke to students, teachers, and parents in Pune. Here’s what they have to say:

“I don’t want the NEET exam to be held in September because there are various reasons like transportation facilities are not yet proper. There are floods in some parts of the country. Also, the issue of asymptomatic patients isn’t being taken care of. This issue should be addressed,” Mrunal Yadav, a student.

“NTA has decided to call students in a batch, but some students have to reach early around 11:00 am. The worst part is that the students have to wear a mask, and it is impossible to wear a mask for such a prolonged duration until 5:00 pm. Nobody addresses the issue of students who wear specs, and it is quite difficult for us to wear masks, how can students sit for a long duration without food?,” said Atharva Karhale, another student

“What can we do now? I don’t want my kid’s year to be wasted. I like the examination but yes, we as parents are concerned about their safety as well. We are in no position to say anything because the decision has been made, which is quite confusing for us,” said Yasmeen, a parent.

What educationists say?

“My view is simple: Students trying to avoid these examinations are the ones who haven’t studied. Our students want to give exams and get done with it once and for all. The issue is with the students who did not prepare the entire year. We back the Supreme Court’s decision and want students to give the examination,” Vaibhav Bakliwal, Director Of Bakliwal Institute.

“As an educationalist, I want my students to be safe first. Yes, the exams are important, but there are other ways to tackle this situation. I think the best way would be online exams from home. Yes, computers will be needed, especially in rural areas, but can be managed, and exams can be conducted in these difficult times,” said director of IITians Prashikshan Kendra Durgesh Mangeshkar.

Congress Party protest

The Pune City District Congress has opposed the examination in the current situation. “Coronavirus infections are still rampant across the country, and the risk has not diminished. Every day thousands of corona patients are added. The government has suggested that avoiding crowds is an important way to overcome corona. We haven’t celebrated festivals like Ganeshotsav and Dahihandi, considering increasing corona infection due to groups. It is not reasonable to make millions of students take the JEE-NEET exam when the situation is still dire across the country. There is no transportation to the examination centre. Hundreds of students, teachers, and other non-teaching staff gathered at an examination centre, fearing the corona infection. With this in mind, the central government should decide to postpone the exams considering the health and future of millions of student parents and other factors related to the exams,” said Ramesh Bagwe, president of Pune City District Congress committee.