The Anandakrishnan Committee’s recommendation to scrap the TNPCEE, the common entrance test for admission into undergraduate engineering programmes across the State, is disappointing.
I’m not sure how sound the argument that abolishing entrance exams will create a level-playing field for students from rural areas and poor backgrounds. What the proponents of this theory have in mind is doubtful. Do they contend that students from urban areas have easy access to tuition classes that will ease their passage through the entrance tests? If that be the case, shouldn’t the argument extend to preparing for the board exams as well? Alternatively, if paying for the entrance exam is the problem, the Government can consider subsidising the exam fees for students from economically weaker sections.
Doing away with the entrance test will create more problems than they will solve. For one, entrance exams test the student’s grasp, acuity, speed and endurance. In contrast, board exams test the ability to recall and pour out from rote memory. This will have a bearing on the entering class.
Secondly, if the marks secured in the board exams is the criterion for admission, there is a greater probability that many students will end up with the same totals (much more than happens currently). Segregating students with the same totals and similar break-up would be a problem.
But that’s the logistics part. Just the thought of banishing entrance tests sounds stupid to me. Maybe I’m being elitist here; but I’ll live with that tag.
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