MORE THAN 400 seats of meritorious schools will remain vacant despite providing two chances to the students to clear the entrance for admission in nine such schools in Punjab. The Common Entrance test (CET) was conducted to fill the seats of nine meritorious schools this year.
Although there are 10 meritorious schools in Punjab, the CET was conducted for the nine schools only where science and commerce groups are running.
There are total 4,500 seats 500 each in nine schools but only 4,082 students could clear the CET, including 3,028 in the first CET and around 1,054 in the second chance.
For 4,500 seats in the meritorious schools this year around 10,255 students of government schools, who scored 80 per cent and above marks in Class X, were eligible. Only 8,581 students applied for CET including 6,547 students in first test held on June 12 and 2,034 students in the second attempt held on July 30.
Out of this, around 700 students remained absent and only 4,082 students including 3,028 in the first test and 1,054 in the second could qualify.
In the second turn, around 50 per cent students were those who had not appeared in the first chance.
The second chance was given to fill the around 1,500 seats remained vacant. The results put forward the poor state of education in Punjab schools.
The candidates who sat for the test were those who scored 80 per cent or more marks in the class X Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) examination conducted this year. Passing the CET with 50 per cent marks would qualify them for a seat in one of the nine meritorious schools of the state – one each in Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Bathinda, Amritsar, SAS Nagar, Sangrur, Ferozepur and Gurdaspur. These schools give free education for Classes XI and XII, accommodation and residential facilities.
“Students were tested in Mathematics, English and Science and carried 50 marks each. That they could not score even 50 per cent qualifying Marks while the questions were selected from the question papers they had attempted in class 10th this year both the times,” said a principal of the meritorious school, adding that both the times difficult questions were not included in the CET question papers.
Project director, meritorious schools, Punjab, Maj Gen (retd) K A S Bhullar was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts to contact him.
Punjab Education Minister Daljit Singh Cheema too could not be reached for comment.
Director, public instructions (DPI), secondary, Balbir Singh Dhol declined to comment.
An official in the meritorious school department informed that the seats would be filled only through entrance basis. When asked that why all the students who were eligible were not appeared in the exam, he said that at several schools proper awareness was not provided to the students about the CET which was conducted first time. On asking that at second time also less students appeared, he said that government should ask government school principals for this indifferent attitude towards these schools where free education is provided.
He denied any “dilution” in the question papers during the second entrance test and said these could be compared with each other as hardly any question would be matching with the previous question papers.