Indian Educational Reforms II – Raising the JEE Eligibility Bar

Mr. Sibal is creating news again, this time it is about raising the bar for students who want to appear for Joint Entrance Examinations (IIT-JEE). Currently any student who has minimum 60% marks in the 12th standard with Science and Mathematics can appear for JEE.

Mr. Sibal is asking the committee to raise this eligibility bar to 80-85 %. The government says that they want to raise the bar not to make it prohibitive, but to squeeze out the hundreds of coaching institutes that sell hope to unrealistic aspirants. Also they want the students to give equal weightage to 12th standard examinations as it is believed that they are the foundation of the students career and life.

Of course coaching institutes who prepare the students for such entrance examinations are unhappy. There is also a confusion where one student group would believe that now they will have to study for two examinations and the other who believe that this is a good step as now they will be judged on an elevated criteria. There is also a mixed reaction from the parents where some believe it is a good step forward as it will save them money and of course the freedom from coaching classes.

Being an engineer myself and having graduated from one of the country’s premier engineering institution, I have learned the hard way that there is a huge gap between the education which is provided by the schools/colleges and that is imparted through the private coaching classes. When we listen, hear or read about any schools results in our community today, I know and strongly believe that the school has acheived a certain result they boast only because their students go to a popular coaching class in the community after school.

The point I want to make is that why cannot the schools help the children the way in which coaching classes are helping the students?