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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

247 students from government schools head to premier higher education institutions

Jayashree Perumal and Aval Sindhu, who will soon start their college education, say they are mostly excited, and nervous, about the new experiences that await them. The government school students will fly to Taiwan to pursue an undergraduate degree, and have secured a full scholarship for it.

 A total of 247 students from government schools across the State, who are set to study in prestigious higher education institutions, were honoured by the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday. Nearly all of them are from an underprivileged background, and many of them would be the first graduate in their family. The Government of Tamil Nadu is funding their college education. Many of these students completed Class XII at the Model Schools run by the School Education Department. 

A student of the Model School in Dharmapuri district, Jayashree will pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at Kun Shan University in Taiwan, and Sindhu will pursue a course in International Business and Trade at Ming Chuan University. This is a first for government students from the State.

 “I had secured admission into NIT to pursue engineering, but then heard about the scholarships being offered in Taiwan through my school. The university’s curriculum for mechanical engineering was interesting, and I look forward to studying there,” said Jayashree, who will be the first graduate in her family once she completes her college education. 

A keen interest in law is what motivated I. Abdulla, a student of the Model School in Sivaganga, to clear the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) with flying colours. “I was coached to clear the competitive exam, and was able to attend additional sessions with subject experts at school, which helped,” he said. While his father works in Kerala, his mother is a daily wage labourer in his village.

P. Vasanthakumar, a student of the Model School in Salem, whose father is a spinning mill worker, cleared JEE earlier this year, and has begun his engineering programme in metallurgy at IIT-Madras.

S. Kathiravan, a student from Krishnagiri, who has a locomotor disability, will soon start his higher education at Kilpauk Medical College.  

Addressing these students, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said that while it was rare to see students from government schools secure admission into premier institutes of education in the country, the times were changing. “We strongly believe that everyone should have access to everything, and it is towards this [goal] that the Tamil Nadu government has implemented several schemes that will help students prepare for and pursue higher education in these institutions. While there were 75 students last year, this year, there are 247 students who are going to study in top colleges,” he said.

Highlighting the increase in the numbers, Mr. Stalin said six students will go to IITs across the country this year, when compared to one last year. “Six students each are going to study at the Indian Maritime University, and at the National Forensic Sciences University. While there were 13 students last year who cleared the JEE mains and went on to study at NITs, IIITs and other institutions, the number has increased to 77 this year,” the Chief Minister said. 

He said this was indicative of an improvement in the quality of education in government schools, and urged students to make use of the opportunities given to them. “Only when students from our schools get into these institutions will we be on the path to social equality,” he said.

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