NEET makes a mockery of India's education system — and our future doctors

10,45,000 children became fodder to our giant sluggish bureaucratic system.

 |  4-minute read |   09-05-2017
  • ---
    Total Shares

Medicine is different from other professions. Existence is not a luxury, not an option. One reposes tremendous faith in doctors when one expects that justice will be done to one's body even as one lies unconscious. The doctor will indeed have no accountability even if she/he fails. The steps undertaken will not be recorded in an HD-camera for court proceedings later. Yet, you expect your doctor to be fair without any outside surveillance, don't you?

Ironically, the same to-be doctors are the most distrusted people. NEET, the exam to obtain an entry pass to a medical college is preceded by a security check more stringent than most international airports; it seems you could fly with a metal button and full sleeves to a high-alert airport, but wouldn’t be allowed to even enter the examination hall of just another entrance exam.

For once you could loathe how dishonest our children have become. The product of the very sacred right to compulsory schooling is young adults who have little conscience of their own. Those who will determine our expiry date on earth lack even the most fundamental peace with themselves. They need to be inspected for cheating in an exam meant to let them demonstrate their pre-requisite medical knowledge.

Indeed, our regulatory system is clear about the problem with our children. Those at the helm believe children are not trustworthy.

But how much do they, the masters, know about themselves? How much do they look within to see what they have become? Do they think about the disservice they do to these children? Is the fault with the flower or the soil, do they ask themselves? The important question, it seems, is not to investigate why children try cheating at the first place, but to make sure their attempts of cheating are foiled.

Children cheat not because of the intense natural competition that exists in their hearts to serve the bleeding humanity. But because of the strange race manufactured by us. Yes, we certainly need more doctors, World Health Organisation (WHO) says we are short of some 5,00,000 based on the norm of 1:1,000 population. There are 50 per cent chances for the nearly 11 lakh children who appeared in NEET to get an opportunity to solve India’s health crisis.

neet-690_050917102452.jpgShouldn’t it be questioned where the machinery failed? Is the exam it designs, NEET, unnecessarily punishing or don’t our schools really teach anything worthwhile? Photo: PTI

With say even a one-tenth probability, one wouldn’t feel as if one exam were the biggest failure of their life, the least incentive to cheat. Yet, when the government provides only 55,000 MBBS in a country of one billion, children start feeling guilty of not meeting the expectations of the system. Our inability to provide meaningful learning spaces is branded as children’s inability to not be competitive enough.

Children feel even more responsibility for their performance because they have already drained lakhs in coaching factories. The stakes get unusually high. Shouldn’t CBSE, also the NEET organising body, answer where lies the gap between the tested proficiency and the school curriculum? After all, it is CBSE which has jurisdiction over the schooling of the largest proportion of candidates taking the NEET.

Shouldn’t it be questioned where the machinery failed? Is the exam it designs, NEET, unnecessarily punishing or don’t our schools really teach anything worthwhile?

There must be an answer.

And don't CBSE and other state boards know of the bigger disaster they have created? They assigned a halo to science and created a hierarchical system of knowledge where mathematics and biology occupied the apex.

Intelligence was purposefully confused with how well you scored in standardised exams, which eventually determined which stream you could get. Why was science always for the highest scorers, or were the future social scientists, economists all very dumb in school?

We got our lessons right, we accepted the caste-system of modern education. Beautiful possibilities. 10,45,000 children became fodder to our giant sluggish bureaucratic system.

We must be ashamed not because we robbed our children of dignity on one silly day, but that so many of our children have decided to abandon their imagination in choosing a life for themselves. That they are not honest with their hearts, that their dreams are not their own.

Also read, NEET candidate asked to remove bra exposes crisis in CBSE

Writer

Akshat Tyagi Akshat Tyagi @ashakshat

The author of Naked Emperor of Education, India’s first young critical commentary of the schooling system.

Like DailyO Facebook page to know what's trending.