Suriya, the Tamil film actor, issued a statement on Saturday saying that the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) is a threat to students. Releasing a statement on the behalf of his educational organisation, Agaram Foundation, the Soorarai Pottru actor said that since education is often different for marginalised students and those who come from rich backgrounds, conducting a common entrance test is social injustice.
— Suriya Sivakumar (@Suriya_offl) June 19, 2021
The statement said, “Government and government-aided schools are the only sources of education for students from marginalised sections of society. Out of the 25% students studying in government-aided schools and 40% students studying in government schools, only 20% go for higher education.”
He went on to say that asking students to write a common entrance test after pursuing 12 years of education in different boards is injustice. The dreams of students who have medical aspirations will be destroyed due to NEET and the scars might never heal, he said.
Noting that the Tamil Nadu government has constituted a committee headed by Justice A K Rajan, he stated that Agaram foundation has submitted its grievances to them. He also urged students and families to email their concerns and feedback to the panel by June 23. “The future of our children has been hampered by exams like NEET. We should inform the concerned persons about the same,” he said.
The actor stated that India is a multi-lingual and multi-cultural nation. Hence, it is only right that States have a greater say in the future of their students, particularly in subjects like education, he said.
Therefore, it is only right that the subject of education is moved from the concurrent list in the Schedule 7 of the constitution to the State list, he said.
“I request all political parties to come together and work towards making education a part of the state list,” he added.
This is not the first time that the actor has raised his voice against NEET. In September 2020, he criticised the government’s decision to conduct the exam during the pandemic and condoled the death of three students who died by suicide, a day before they were to appear for the entrance exam.
Members of the public can send their opinions and feedback on NEET to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 23.