Saturday, April 19, 2008

No CET, many fail in engg exams

The first signs of what it does to the educational scenario if we do away with the entrance exams, have appeared. A phenomenal high in failures in the first semester, particularly in the subjects that require analytical skills (news item below), questions the wisdom of doing away with entrance exams.

Contrary to what the opponents of CET have said, entrance exams were not meant for equalizing students from different streams. It is for selecting only those who have the acumen to pursue professional courses. With the plus two results becoming a prestige issue with the Government which has no qualms in reducing the standards and minimum pass marks to boast a high in the pass percentage, the system based on the marks in plus two exams is nothing short of a farce.

If the situation in the leading college like Guindy Engineering is so grim, what is happening in the medical colleges? Until a couple of years ago, bulk of the medical seats went to students who had taken up improvement exams. The intrinsic capacity of these students is certainly doubtful. With the abandonment of CET last year the trend is continuing with compromise in quality.

When the so-called high rankers in Board exams are performing so pathetically, it is shuddering to think of the performance of those who enter through reservation.
I don't say 'no' to higher studies to all.
But we must accept that not all are capable of pursuing engineering or medical studies. By opening 1000s of seats in engineering colleges and luring people to take them up through methods like this,
we are only harming the future of the students.
It gives an impression that there is no study other than engineering in India.
No other branch of knowledge is encouraged by this and the reservation policy.

A similar disaster can be expected to be reported soon in the IITs.
With the present prediction of cut-offs to IIT 2008, the highest will be 350, whereas the lowest ranker who enters through reservation will have scored 150.
What a huge disparity!
In what way those in the lower ranks can rise up to match those who score high?
Certainly reservation is not a solution to uplift students intellectually nor even socially.
It will only succeed in making an intellectual downtrodden in fields where they need not tread.
Each unto his capacity. That is the core theme of intellectual and emotional quotient.
Unless the politicians realize this and keep away from the educational scenario, leaving it to the handling of a core groups of educationists, the students can not but have to become pawns in the games that politicians play.

Article from Deccan Chronicle.

No CET, many fail in engg exams

Chennai, April 18:

Over 30 per cent of the students pursuing engineering courses in constituent colleges of Anna University, Chennai, have failed in one subject or the other in the recently concluded first year examinations. The reason, many say, is a fallout of the state government scrapping the common entrance test (CET). The government's move aimed at helping rural students, seems to have evoked adverse reactions this year.

It is said the students who did not have good foundation in class 12 entered the prestigious colleges with marks that they had scored by rote learning. These students, unable to cope up with the tough engineering syllabus, had failed to answer analytical questions. University insiders allege that the first semester examinations for the constituent colleges of the university - College of Engineering, Guindy, the Madras Institute of Technology and the Alagappa College of Technology - were over in December last year, but the results, usually published in the second week of February second, were out only this month.

The inordinate delay, they claimed, was due to the collapse of software used for analysing results and publishing them. However, highly placed sources in the university allege that in subjects like engineering mathematics, the failure rate was more than 30 per cent. It was also one of the reasons for the delay in publishing the results. Sources said students usually find engineering mathematics difficult as it is application-oriented.

“The common entrance examination has good application-oriented questions that go beyond the normal plus-2 public examination format. Even the pick of students from the best of higher secondary schools and studying in top colleges in Tamil Nadu failing in the engineering mathematics subject is a matter of concern,” the sources added. University vice-chancellor Dr D. Viswanathan could not be reached for his comments.

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