Bhubaneswar: Some 25 underprivileged students from Jajpur district of Odisha have cleared the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), a national-level single entrance test for medical courses.
These students were trained at the Centre for Educational and Social Development-Pathshala (CESDP).
An initiative by Sanghamitra Mohapatra, an educator from the state, the centre provides free training to students to clear the national level test. All 39 students from the centre had cracked the exam last year.
It is an 11-month residential course in which students are trained at her centre in Khandagiri. Around seven experienced teachers guide the students who study for around 12 hours daily. “Students are selected for the course through a written test,” says Sanghamitra.
On the lines of Anand Kumar’s Super 30, Sanghamitra has taken it upon herself to help underprivileged students crack the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).
The idea came to her while she was working as chief project manager at Odisha’s Super 30, where bright and underprivileged students are imparted free tutorials to crack the IIT entrance test.
During her tenure there, she interacted with a number of underprivileged students who wanted to become doctors but did not have proper resources to train themselves.
“I felt that like with the engineering entrance, there should be a similar model to train students to crack the medical entrance test,” said Sanghamitra, who has over 30 years of teaching experience.
Apart from academics, students at her centre also get to take part in a number of extracurricular activities. A number of festivals, too, are celebrated at the centre.
“Our aim is to not only act as a centre of academic excellence but to develop a student’s moral responsibility towards the larger whole and make them responsible citizens,” she said.
This year, the centre plans to ready at least 50 students for the test. Training will begin next month.
“There is no doubt that the health system in the state is very poor. In such a situation, it is important that we recognise talent and produce more medicos who can work for the state in the long run,” she said.
The district administration provides her funds for the initiative but that is not enough. “I want to train more and more students, but gathering resources is a huge problem. I will try to collect private funding,” she said.