Soon after the commencement of the CUET 2022 application process, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has denounced the entire base of the entrance examination. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Stalin has highlighted that the exam is regressive and also undesirable and hence the same should be withdrawn. He mentioned that this has vindicated the stance of the TN government regarding the NEET examination for medical courses.
Quite similar to NEET, CUET is expected to sideline the primacy of school education systems and also undermine the overall development of learning in the school. In addition to that, such entrance exams will make the students rely more on coaching centres to improve their scores. The Chief Minister also alleged that the introduction of the entrance exam was a prelude of the government to centralize admissions in higher educational institutions.
The ‘Syllabus’ problem
Almost every major entrance examination for undergraduate courses in the country is based on the NCERT syllabus. In this regard, Stalin is of the opinion that entrance exams that are based on the NCERT syllabus will create a sharp disparity between the students who have studied in the various state boards across the country. More than 80% of the students in every state are studying under the state board syllabus. These students, moreover, belong to marginalized sections.
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Due to this, the NCERT syllabus-based entrance examination will place a majority of students in a disadvantageous position with regard to securing admission to the central universities. A section of people from Tamil Nadu is also of the opinion that entrance test like CUET is very much against the interest of the poor and marginalized sections. This will also result in the proliferation of coaching centers in humanities.
If the non-central universities also start adopting CUET as the criteria for admission, then over a course of time, state schools that have a different syllabus will get undermined. Students will be bound to seek admission to costly schools that run on the NCERT syllabus. Earlier, the state has already decided to opt-out of the NEET examination. With the major turn in events pertaining to CUET 2022 in Tamil Nadu, it is very unclear as to what stance the state will take regarding the entrance exam. The Stalin government has already reviewed the CUET 2022 exam to be another undesirable step in the present trend of education.