Actor Suriya has been a staunch critic for the NEET (The National Eligibility and Entrance Test), a single-window entrance test introduced by the Center for medical admissions across the country. The national exam has come to complete effect in 2016 and the abrupt implementation of NEET and its dominance across the country had heavily distressed the medical aspirants particularly students from poor and downtrodden backgrounds.
The hasty introduction of the national exam had pushed several students to brace up the exam and several others to give up their medical aspirations. While the National Test had run into outrage initially, most of the states had later got used to the test, leaving the students to clear the burdensome gateway to acquire a medical seat in leading medical colleges and varsities. Tamil Nadu has been one of the states that furiously voiced against the test and it has largely been demanding the Center to repeal the National Test.
Actor Suriya, who runs Agaram Foundation which supports students from marginalized communities to get an education, has been voicing against the NEET examination for the past few years and he had labelled the entrance test an injustice to the students. Reiterating his stand to repeal the examination, Suriya had on Saturday penned a scathing letter against NEET and appealed to the students to express their opinion about how NEET had impacted them to the panel that was recently formed by the Tamil Nadu government.
In his letter, the actor said, "Education is the only weapon for the development and progress of the lives of the students who study and secure a higher education from the government schools. In the ambience of having different educational opportunities for the poor and rich students, 'One Examination System' to determine the competency is against social justice."
He further penned, "Of 40% and 25% of students who study in the government and government-aided schools respectively, that are the source of education for middle-income and low-income background, only 20% of students are progressing towards higher education. Even after completing the school education for 12 years for their future, the drive of pushing them back from pursuing higher education through conducting the entrance test is a social injustice."
"NEET exam had fired the dreams and ambitions of thousands of students who dreamt of becoming a doctor. The scar caused by the pain of losing the dream will never disappear. The entrance exams like 'NEET' are dangerous for the interest of students and states", the actor said. Suriya stated that the panel that was formed by the Tamil Nadu government under former Justice AK Rajan has asked the opinions about the impacts of NEET from the people.
He said, "Agaram Foundation, which travels with the government school students, formally registers the threats and vulnerabilities faced by the students to the government panel. We must make the concerned people understand the severity of the vulnerabilities brought by the NEET, that had dimmed the future of our students. Therefore, I request the students and their families to express their agonies to Justice AK Rajan's panel by mailing them at 'email@example.com' before June 23rd."
He further penned, "In a diversified country like India, it's imperative that education should remain under state's right. That's the only and permanent solution. I am appealing to all the political parties to jointly work in the policy of "Education is the state's right". The statement from actor Suriya, which has come days after Chief Minister MK Stalin demanded Prime Minister Modi to repeal the NEET, has been going viral with several people welcoming his voice.
Earlier this month, the state government has formed a panel headed by Justice AK Rajan which will study whether the common medical entrance test (NEET) has affected the socially backward students in the past few years. If it has affected them, then the committee will suggest alternate admission procedures for the benefit of all students and possibilities for implementing these admission procedures and legal avenues. Educationists and officials also will be part of this high-level committee.