after they had to invest months, sometimes years, of hard
work and pure labour. Two days ago, newspapers reported
one suicide and two attempted suicides in our state - the
very day that EAMCET results were released. All this is
not some sort of a 'collateral damage' - it is net outcome
of our entrance-exam based education regime.
week, I wrote about the need for admitting students into
colleges based on a more scientific and rational procedure.
Now, we need to understand the other key issue related to
the constitution of entrance exams: our Intermediate and
'Plus Two' students are loaded with too many tests. EAMCET
is neither the beginning nor the end. The students also
have to take their Board exams, sit for the JEE for IITs,
write the AIEEE for RECs or take the IIIT (popularly called
the 'Triple I T') entrance exam. Just to be on the 'safe
side', many students also appear for the CETs in other states
like Karnataka or Tamil Nadu. Add to this the NDA entrance,
Merchant Navy test, SAT and so on
one of these tests purportedly measures the level of scientific
(conceptual) understanding and analytical skill in a teenager.
But, they have widely differing formats, distinct patterns
of questions and questioning, dissimilar methods of evaluation
and ranking and finally, they lead up to completely different
schemes for awarding college seats to students. Just look
at the Intermediate, JEE and the EAMCET exams: they are
as distinct as the rhino, the rhinoceros beetle and the
rhododendron. Even cricket, that complex game of glorious
uncertainties, has only two basic varieties - the tests
and the one-dayers!
is a sad fact that several of these entrance examinations
are not based on proper scientific and rational testing
procedures. The chief utility of these tests seems to be
as a rough-and-ready tool for distributing ranks among lakhs
of student applicants each year. Largely because of this
reason, a typical student's performance in the Intermediate
Board exam or even an EAMCET-type entrance exam generally
has little correlation with his/her academic performance
in later engineering/graduate-level courses. They bear even
lesser relationship to his/her success in professional careers.
is clearly no pressing reason to subject our children to
such a variety of intimidating tests. We are facing an urgent
need to make our college entrance exam regimen simple, direct
and flexible. Colleges, universities and higher educational
institutions across the country could work towards adopting
a 'universal' standardized, rational and scientific entrance
procedure. Such an improved format would cause minimal stress
(to students and their parents, both!) as well as offer
maximum flexibility (in terms of dates and times, for instance).
All the while, its chief objective should be to provide
applicants with an opportunity to showcase their scholastic
aptitude. That would be the only way to alleviate the tremendous
levels of mental and physical pressure currently being imposed
on our younger generations.
me emphasize that these changes and improvements are not
constrained by huge physical barriers nor do they need large
monetary inputs. In fact, reforming our college entrance
system is not about physical resources at all. It is more
about the concerned authorities showing some concern and
courage supplemented by a lot of creative thinking. A bit
of sense and sensibility towards the students' conditions
would not hurt the cause at all! Fortunately, our state
has a wealth of knowledgeable, talented and motivated resource
persons and faculty in the concerned departments and institutions.
I am very confident that they can easily develop a better
entrance procedure for future aspirants.