Pradeep Pattanayak

It was when the Directorate of Higher Secondary Education, Odisha announced free coaching for competitive examinations like JEE, NEET etc., the students of all junior colleges started weaving dreams. 

But the dreams of many of these students haven’t been fulfilled as yet, thanks to the flaws inherent in the scheme. 

Last year, to select candidates, the Directorate invited applications from 1000 students through newspaper advertisements.  Many students had applied but were not invited. 

They would never be invited because the coaching facility has only been introduced at Adarsha Vidyalayas, affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). 

Such step-motherly treatment has put paid to the dreams of many brilliant students coming from poor family backgrounds. They and their parents expressed their dissatisfaction as other plus II colleges have been excluded. 

“Our parents had expected we would receive free coaching and have a bright future. But that didn’t happen. For the coming generations, the government should include Odia medium Plus II colleges,” rued Amar Kumar Patra, a Plus II Science student. 

The president of the Utkal Parents’ Association, Krushnachandra Pati said, “Instead of thinking about the Odia medium students, the education department is providing free coaching to Adarsha Vidyalaya students. If the Odia students are given free coaching, they can compete with English medium students in national-level tests. This amounts to farce and not acceptable at all.”   

On the other hand, the directorate clarified that there is no plan to include other junior colleges. 

“The scheme is only meant for Adarsha Vidyalaya. It is yet to be introduced in general higher secondary schools. And there is no immediate plan to include them,” clarified the Director, Directorate of Higher Secondary Education, Raghuram R Ayar.

(Reported by Jagdish Das, OTV)