Parents hit upon a NEET idea to help students sleep easy
Instead of waking up in the wee hours to travel to faraway exam centres, many parents have opted to spend the night at a nearby hotel to reduce the stress on their children
Diya Kasaragod, her mother Rekha and sister will make the journey a day before the exam and put up at a hotel close to the centre. Pic/Satej Shinde
For lakhs of candidates across the country, the National Entrance and Eligibility Test (NEET) on Sunday is already the biggest exam of their lives. Now, even the journey to the exam centre is likely test their nerves like never before. With centres as far as 75 km away and their reporting time as early as 7.30 am, many parents have decided to simply make the journey a day before and put up at a hotel to reduce the stress on their children.
Due to limited number of CBSE schools that function as test centres for NEET, this year, there are common cases of students in Goregaon being allotted a centre in Kharghar, or candidates living in Vasai being asked to go to Panvel. The stress of travelling all the way from Mumbai to Navi Mumbai in the wee hours of Sunday is bound to take a toll on students, especially because of poor railway connectivity.
Nightmare to travel
Rekha Kasaragod, a resident of Goregaon, was worried when she learnt that her daughter Diya had been allotted a test centre in Kharghar, around 45 km away. On top of that, her reporting time is 8.30 am. "To get there so early in the morning, we will have to leave in the wee hours on Sunday, considering the buffer time we have to keep to deal with travel hassles, if any. That means Diya will be exhausted due to travel by the time we reach the centre. Instead, booking a hotel room near the centre is certainly a better idea," said Rekha.
They will tackle the hour-and-half-long journey a day before, and check into a hotel for the night. "We have already booked a room at a hotel that is just seven minutes from the centre. We all plan to reach the hotel a day earlier, so that Diya is stress-free and relaxed on the day of the examination," she added.
Nishant Rawtani from Andheri has a similar story. He has been allotted an exam centre in Kharghar as well. His mother Jharna told mid-day, "Forget traffic woes, on Sundays, even local trains don't function very well. There are already strict warnings against late entry; it is better not to take any chance. Several parents are opting to stay at a hotel near the centre to prevent last-minute travelling issues. Moreover, my son will get proper sleep before the exam, since he won't have to wake up early for the journey. Now, we are all stress-free, as we have booked a room just 1.5 km away from the exam centre."
Tired before test
Nikhil Lad, a Borivli resident, has the earliest reporting time slot - 7.30 am - and he has to travel all the way to Panvel. "We will have to leave around 5 am, keeping some buffer time in hand. This means, Nikhil's day will begin around 4 am, when his paper will only start at 10 am. Not only will he be exhausted, but if there is any travelling issue, he will be under additional stress on the day of the examination," said his father, Dr Amit Lad, who has also booked a hotel room for Saturday night after other parents gave him the idea.
According to parents, for a national-level examination like NEET, there should have had been more centres across the country. "There may be fewer CBSE schools in some localities, so other test centres should be arranged to avoid students having to travel so far," said Dr Omnarayan Singh, whose child has to travel 75 km from his home in Vasai to the centre at Panvel.
The other side
Rama Sharma, PRO of the CBSE, was unavailable to comment. A senior official from CBSE's NEET section said, "Considering complete security for the national-level entrance examination, only CBSE schools have been allotted as centres. In no way can the security be compromised here. Moreover, it is a matter of just one day. It isn't like the test centres are in completely different cities or something."
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