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Opposition questions govt. on NEET, education policy


The Opposition on Tuesday sought the State government’s views on various issues including its stand on national eligibility test for medical education, teacher vacancies in schools and colleges, non-appointment of Vice Chancellors to half a dozen universities, the delay in issue of smart cards to school students and the status of teacher eligibility test.
During the debate on education, Leader of the Opposition M.K. Stalin wanted to know what action the government has initiated with regard to the National Entrance and Eligibility Test (NEET). He said students from economically weaker background and rural areas would be affected if NEET were to become compulsory. DMK member from Kanniyakumari S. Austin also raised the issue.
Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar said the government was determined to admit students only through the present system. The Chief Minister had issued a government order in 2005 and ruled that only Class XII marks would be used to determine admission. Even in her election speech in Palayamkottai, she had opposed NEET, he said.
Opposition members wanted the government to specify their stand on the new National Education Policy. Congress member J.G. Prince alleged that the introduction of the new education policy was aimed at ‘saffronisation’ of students. K.A.M. Muhammed Abubacker of Indian Union Muslin League and M. Thamimum Ansari of AIADMK said the policy was against social justice and the State’s reservation policy.
Mr. Austin urged the government to update its syllabus every five years to pave way for students to do well in competitive exams. Currently, only a handful cleared national competitive exams, he said. Mr. Prince said that teacher appointments should be based 50 per cent on seniority and 50 per cent on Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) marks.
He asked the government to expedite the appointment of Vice Chancellors as five to six universities did not have VCs, which was affecting the functioning of these universities. He also wanted the government to fill vacancies in colleges.
Higher Education Minister K.P. Anbazhagan maintained that the lack of VCs did not affect the day-to-day functioning of the institutions.
Of the 47 vacancies for the post of principal in 86 government colleges, only 15 were yet to be filled, he said, assuring the members that all vacancies would be filled shortly.

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