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Free NEET coaching yet to begin in Trichy

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The much-publicised free coaching for government school students for the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET) for MBBS admissions has been delayed in Trichy and a few other districts. While education department authorities say that the classes would be started in a phased manner soon, students in other districts have already gone ahead with the online classes from mid-November.

Inadequate virtual classrooms against the overwhelming student enrolment for the free classes is being cited as the reason for the delay by sources in the school education department. While many teachers are of the opinion that virtual classes may be of little use to the students, further delay in beginning these classes may affect their preparation. The state government undertook the responsibility of training government school students for NEET after it was made mandatory in the state as in the rest of the country. Later, the facility was also extended to students from government-aided schools.
After signing an MoU with two institutes for NEET coaching across the state in around 500 coaching centres, the government asked aspiring medical aspirants to register online through their headmaster. In the first stage, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami also inaugurated coaching in 25 centres each in a district in mid-November. But this was except in Trichy and five other districts. A circular from Tamil Nadu School Education joint director dated November 16 also informed about the delay in beginning the classes in Nilagiri, Nagercoil, Karur, Madurai, Nagapattinnam, Sivagangai and Trichy.
Though it was anticipated that classes would begin in these districts in successive weeks, it has not taken off till date. "We have only been asked to wait for the mail from the school education department regarding free NEET coaching," says the headmaster of a government school. He added that many of the students were relying on free coaching especially in the urban areas as not many could afford private coaching.
The streaming of weekend classes conducted in Chennai across the state to NEET centres through virtual classrooms was unlikely to be useful to the students, claims a section of teachers. Ruling out claims that the delay would affect the students' preparation for NEET, Trichy chief educational officer (CEO) M Ramakrishnan said that, "Content is not alien to the students as they will be revising whatever they have studied in their plus two." The classes would help the students in facing NEET than focusing on subjects. The classes were being started in a phased manner across the state and it would soon be started in Trichy too, he said.


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