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Punjab education in turmoil, even toppers fail miserably in CET

This NET, over 1,400 seats out of a total 4,100 remained vacant - with over 800 seats lying vacant in both boys and girls categories.

With toppers falling down in rumbles and unable to crack the Common Entrance Test (CET) meant for admission to nine meritorious government schools, the gruesome state of Punjab’s centrally provided education is all transparent again. This NET, over 1,400 seats out of a total 4,100 remained vacant. With over 800 seats lying vacant in both boys and girls categories, Sangrur and Ferozepur schools topped the chart. To fill the vacant seats, another CET will be carried out on August 2 for the failed/absent students.

CET was carried out first on June 25, final counselling for which was wrapped up this Thursday, on July 20. Those students, who have cleared Class X of Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) 80% and more, were qualified to give CET. Total appearing students were 4,919, of which, 2,658 cleared the exam and 2,261 failed.

To clear CET, the criterion was to score 50 per cent marks in aggregate and 33 per cent in individual subjects. The three subjects in which the test was carried out were English, Mathematics and Science. The objective of the test was to place meritorious students on the basis of merit in these prestigious schools as there were far to many with 80% and more in class 10, but the seats for these schools are limited.

For the year, about 10,000 students from government schools were eligible to give CET. In the girls category, around 2,000 seats were filled and around 600 have been lying vacant which included 287 at the Ferozepur meritorious school where 158, 66 and 63 seats are lying vacant in non-medical, commerce and medical streams, respectively. At the Sangrur school, too, 222 seats are lying vacant with 11, 62 and 49 in non-medical, commerce and medical groups, respectively.

Where there were 1,550 seats (in all schools) reserved as boys category, half of these continue to remain vacant at 778. In Ferozepur and Sangrur schools, 155 seats are still vacant. In Patiala, Jalandhar and Bathinda, all seats in non-medical groups in the boys’ category have been filled.

The nine meritorious schools of the state are present in Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Bathinda, Amritsar, SAS Nagar, Sangrur, Ferozepur, offering medical, non-medical and Commerce streams. Each of these courses in these eight colleges have vacancy of 500 seats. Only the ninth school in Talwara, Hoshiarpur district is an all girls’ achool imparting the course of humanities and offers 100 seats.

For girls, there are 2,550 seats reserved of the total 4100, of which, 1,458 are provided in non-medical stream, 496 each in medical and commerce streams and 100 in humanities. For boys, there are 1,550 seats, which counts 942 in non-medical group and 304 each in medical and commerce streams.

One of the principals of the meritorious schools said, “The very purpose of the test was defeated as our topper students could not even able to qualify for the available 4,100 seats not to talk about merit,” continuing, “It also revealed the sorry picture of education level in our state-run schools.”

Apart from the poor performance in the examination, many cases of malpractices in the class 10 exam have also surface, making the picture more depressing. Director General, School Education, Parshant Goyal, said, “We will examine why the toppers could not qualify. Though the exam was of 10th standard, some tstudents could not understand the questions well and we will find out.”

Even so, the CET result is not much of a shock, given that last year too, there had been around 400  seats vacant, despite the exam being conducted twice. The meritorious schools impart free education for classes XI and XII besides free residential facilities and coaching for competitive exams.

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