[Editorial] CUET and Related Issues

Quick revision mind map

Context

The UGC’s latest move

  • UGC recently introduced the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for admissions in undergraduate courses in 45 central universities in the country.

What the editorial is about?

  • The factors on which we need to really work to transform the education of the country.

Common University Entrance Test (CUET)

  • The Chairman of the University Grants Commission, recently announced that the Central Universities in India will have to use Common University Entrance Test (CUET) scores to admit students to the UG programs this year.
  • From the 2022-23 academic year, the National Testing Agency will conduct the Common entrance test for the UG and PG programmes.
  • The syllabus of CUET by NTA will be mirrored with the class 12 model syllabus of the NCERT.

Pros of CUET

Academic quality

  • In a country like ours, because of the uneven quality of different school boards, there is a huge trust deficit and suspicion about the academic quality of even the “toppers”.

Multiple Exams

  • This would free the tension-ridden youngsters from the pressure of writing multiple entrance tests in different colleges/universities.

Inflated cut-offs

  • The supremacy of the CUET score/ranking in the selection process would invariably eliminate inflated cut-offs for admissions in “branded” colleges.

Subjective biases

  • It would avoid subjective biases, cherish objectivity, and quantify and measure one’s mental aptitude and domain knowledge in a specific discipline.

Cons of CUET

Relevance of the school

Book-centric and Exam-oriented

  • The dominant structure of education prevalent in the country is essentially book-centric and exam-oriented.

Rote learning or Strategic learning

  • Either rote learning or strategic learning (a gift of coaching centres) is its essence; and far from learning and unlearning with joy, wonder and creativity, young students become strategists or exam-warriors.

Gigantic coaching centres

  • In the coming years, schools are going to lose their relevance as students and parents are likely to rely primarily on gigantic coaching centres and fancy Ed-Tech companies.

Scope for subjective interpretation

MCQ-centric

  • The MCQ-centric “objective” tests diminish what every genuine learner need — creative exploration, interpretative understanding and self-reflexivity.

Art of interpretation and skill of argumentation

  • In the name of “objective” tests, our students are deprived of the hermeneutic art of interpretation and skill of argumentation and compelled to reduce everything into an “objective” fact, we would do great damage to their creativity.

Way Forward

  • To transform education, we need to
    • work on
      • the quality of schools and pedagogy
      • honest and fair recruitment of teachers
      • the relative autonomy of academic institutions
    • learn
      • to value the uniqueness of each child

Practice Question for Mains

  1. Discuss why a Common University Entrance Test won’t solve the real problems of education in our country. (150 Words, 10 Marks)
Referred Sources

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