Published: 17th May 2018
NEET effect: Namakkal, once Tamil Nadu's Kota witnesses slump in admission
Many families would temporarily move to Namakkal in the summer months and stayed in rented houses just to ensure admission for their wards in one of the reputed schools
Following the implementation of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for medical courses, the enrolment of students in matriculation schools in Namakkal district, once famous for preparing students to score high marks in the class XII board exams, had dropped in the last two years.
Namakkal was known nation-wide for its high standard of education. Joining one of its schools was no mean feat. Schools cherry-picked students with a score of over 490 in their class X board exams. That was why parents from across the country flocked to the district in the hopes that their children would score top marks in the board exams, particularly class XII. Many families temporarily moved to Namakkal in the summer months and stayed in rented houses just to ensure admission for their wards in one of the reputed schools. Namakkal residents even made a handsome income, hiking rent prices for school-hunting parents. Every year, nearly 2,000-3,000 students in the district's schools were from other regions.
Though the government had ordered schools to not admit students before the publication of board exam results, many private schools had already started the admission process because of the enormous demand. It was amidst this situation that the Centre implemented NEET last academic year. With this move, admission for class XI in the district's schools dropped drastically. Now, scoring top marks in board exams was no longer relevant.
According to School Education Department (SED), while a total of 29,643 students wrote the class XII board exam in the district in 2017, this year 26,343 students only appeared here. The number had been 27,294 in 2016, 31,020 in 2015 and 31,527 in 2014.
"Apart from NEET, students also opt for polytechnic after class X. That is why enrolment has reduced," said Chief Education Officer (CEO) P Usha.
Besides, with several new schools having been opened across the districts, parents were hesitating to send the children away to a distant district.
"According to the current status, as many as 22,511 students, who wrote the class XI board exam this year, will appear for class XII board exam in 2019. This number also could come down" she predicted.
Speaking to Express, a private school teacher said that those schools, which opened temporary admission centres in the nearby districts to lure more students, were badly affected. Besides, several matriculation schools are planning to teach CBSE syllabus additionally, the teacher added.