DISCLAIMER:THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THE ARTICLE DO NOT NECESSARILY RESONATE WITH THAT OF THE WRITERS BUT IS EMULATED FROM THE POPULAR VIEW IN THE LIGHT OF MANY RECENT HAPPENINGS.
Over the last few decades, India has transformed by a great deal and is now counted among the most powerful countries in the world. With a Growth of over 7.7% we are among the fastest growing economies. Not only are we the largest producers of various agricultural products but also among the leading producers of energy throughout the world. Along with this ,we are home to ISRO which is the most economical space organization. Also, the Indian film industry is credited with the production of most number of films in a single year. However, amongst all its greatness our country is somewhat like a double-edged sword since it also leads the world in some undesirable areas, nastiest of them being Student Suicides.
Student suicide is among those negativities in our society which has been continuously rising in numbers this however go unreported to the normal public. In the 5-year period from 2010-2015, almost 40,000 students took their own lives. Student suicide is common for several reasons. However, statistics indicate the main reason of student suicide being ineffective yet forceful education system of our country.
Academic pressure on our students is huge. As a product of our very own Educational System I have experienced this pressure hand’s on. Every student is taught to set on a path of academic excellence asking the students to score and not learn, with all of them being taught to work in competition and not in collaboration with others. Our parents too end up entrusting the children with the responsibility to score well in their examinations. Asking them to score well isn’t overtly bad, but the extreme measures some take with the amount of pressure they end up enforcing upon the children is detrimental. Then there is this perennial villain of our lives. This intelligent kid known as “Sharma-ji-ka Beta”. This guy manages to do well in academics, sports, co-curricular activities and extra-curricular activities. His performance becomes the standard to which my achievements are compared. I may have done well but he ends up doing better. So, my achievements won’t be good enough and my parents tell me “Sharma ji ke bete se kuch seekho”.
As we grow older, important exams come up, the board exams and the competitive exams for university admissions. I have seen a lot of students who are excellent athletes, but then they never play once they enter the 10th grade which apparently is the first set of important exams from where their future shaping commences. Hence one cannot afford to screw them up. But the harsh reality which most of the students don’t know is the fact that the 10th standard result will serve absolutely no purpose for them ,except for their age proof that too only if they don’t hold an Aadhaar card.
I know a few 7th standard kids who have joined these coaching classes to clear the engineering entrance examinations. They go to school in the morning, then go to these classes in the evening and at night, they go for additional tuitions to ensure that they do well in exams. ALL THIS FOR AN EXAM THEY WILL APPEAR FOR AFTER 5 YEARS. But apparently, this is what it takes to get into an IIT or an NIT.
The city of Kota in Rajasthan is a hub for all engineering and medical aspirants. Over 1,50,000 students from across the country travel to Kota to prepare for engineering and medical entrance examinations. Unfortunately, this city has a very high rate of student suicides. In the year 2014 alone, 45 students committed suicide. Most of these due to course burden and poor academic performance coupled with pressure from their home, which is just too high to handle for many. Institutions there enthral a rigorous schedule on the students for results in the examinations. This schedule includes classes for 8-10 hours a day, weekly tests and a huge course load. A lot of them sail through this rough phase, unfortunately not all of them do.
In India there has been an increasing perception that success is synonymous with engineering or medicine, owing to the onset of IT revolution and surge of opportunities in the health sector. As a result, students have been pushed, even forced, to do engineering or medicine. A majority of the kids are not even asked what they wish to do.
Another fact about all our Engineering colleges is that their competitive exams which are based on MPC and in some cases, English decide a child’s capability to take Computer Science. A friend of mine an amazing programmer but scored less in MPC couldn’t secure a seat in CSE but a person who has scored higher in the 3 subjects and know nothing about computer programming got a seat in CSE. They both get into the same college but my friend more interested in CSE end up taking Civil since “that college is more prestigious”. Unable to deal with the subject he is not interested in, he ends up taking his life.
It makes me very sad when I come across news of students taking their own lives. Parents and kids need to understand that in the modern day we have a plethora of career options. One has to realise that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get into engineering or medicine.
Unfortunately, we are living in a country where a parent’s hope on a child depend on his/her score. As long as the scores are high their hopes are high and once the score drops it takes absolutely no time for them to drop not only their confidence on the child but also the child’s confidence to a level so low it destroys his/her self-confidence. He either turns rebellious or he turns all his dreams and himself to the system’s pressure neither of which does any good and we end up losing an important mind of our country.
So, parents, please allow your kids to follow their dreams. Don’t curb their enthusiasm. And students, you may have a lot to go through but suicide is definitely not an option. Don’t even consider it one. Talk about your problems. Things will turn out for better. Remember, you are never alone in this world. Reach out for help.