“I want to become a doctor because it’s a dream of my father, who couldn’t become one. I was brought up with this dream and I don’t have any other career option in the life.”
The words of a Class 10 student would not allow Subash Excellence School principal Sunita Saxena in Madhya pradesh capital Bhopal sleep through the night.
Aspirations and high expectations force students to perform beyond their capabilities and could have disastrous effect on a young mind, she told HT on Saturday. According to Saxena, parents and teachers are mostly responsible of building pressure on students and pushing them to the brink.
“I spoke to several students to know the reason, but one thing which I found common is communication gap among student, teacher and parents. It’s a duty of parents and teachers to understand the problem of a student. There is no dearth of options. Students should be allowed to choose their career according to their capability,” Saxena said.
Academic pressures, cut-throat competition to secure top ranks in exams and parents’ ambition have allegedly pushed 15 students in the state to take their lives this year. Two Class 12 students ended their lives in the state on Saturday allegedly due to academic stress and for fear of failing to perform well in their board examinations.
According to Model Higher Secondary School principal Shyamkumar Reniwal, there was a need to help weak students in coping up of exam pressure by constantly boosting confidence. “Every school --government or private -- should start the practice of identifying the weakness of every student so that it could redress timely,” said Reniwal, adding that teachers should also be able to read the mind of students.
Teachers across the state capital feel that the sudden increase in competition and syllabus after Class 9 and 11 is a major cause of stress among students.
“Parents should pay attention on building up career of students from the childhood. They need guidance not the stress. They should be brought up in a way so that they could accept any difficulty without hurting themselves,” Sister Lily, principal St Joseph’s Convent School.
However, psychologists feel that fear of fail and exam stress is not a reason, but one of the factors which trigger the emotional turmoil. “Across the world maximum number of cases of suicides reported are of teenagers. In the adolescent age, teenagers pass through many biological and psychological changes…There is a need to make them understand the changes. Failure in studies just triggers the emotional turmoil,” said psychologist Dr Ruma Bhattacharya.
“If parents see behavioural changes in their wards, they should talk to them. In case of excessive depression, parents should consult psychologist,” said Bhattacharya.
Schools to introduce de-stressing activities
Missionary schools are planing to introduce meditation, career counselling and other de-stressing activities to lessen anxiety and academic strain on students. Public relations officer of Catholic Church Fr Maria Stephen said: “Parents should not force their children for higher grades in examination. They burden their expectation on their children...We are making an effort to propagate some major activities in school which are absolutely necessary to reduce stress.”
15 suicides this year in MP
Pragati Deshmukh, 15, committed suicide on March 1. In a suicide note she said she was taking the step as she could not bag the first position
Class 10 student Sonu Ahirvar of Lavanya Gurukul School, Bhopal, set himself on fire on March 2 after the invigilator snatched his paper during the board exam. He suffered 80% burns
Class 6 student Moin Khan, 12, hanged himself from the grill of a window at his house in Devjhiri colony, Barwani
Sumit Moye, 15, a student of Government Naveen High School committed suicide on February 27 in his Jahangirabad house
On February 27, Indra Sharma, 20, a B Sc student, committed suicide.
On February 26, Nancy Chirolia, a Class 12 student of Jabalpur’s Millennium School hanged herself as she was afraid of failing in exams
Class 12 student Shiv Kumar Dhurve in Jabalpur’s Chappar area committed suicide on February 25 by hanging self in the hostel room
On February 23, Aditya Singh, 16, a Class 11 student of Delhi Public School, was found hanging from a slider in a park in front of his house in Red Square Colony after he failed the final exams
On February 22, a Bhopal’s Rashidiya School student Chotu Khatik committed suicide by hanging himself. He was very reluctant to go to school, parents said
A third-year student of MANIT, Malla Venkatesh Sai Pallavi, committed suicide in her college hostel on February 10. A suicide note recovered indicated the girl was home sickness and was under study pressure
Sohail, a Class 12 private student, from Barwani committed suicide on January 17
On January, 25 Priya Kuchbandiya was found hanging in her house
On January 13, a Class 10 student Srishti from Ratnapur’s Carmel Convent School committed suicide. The student was suffering from depression.
Class 12 student Abhishek Sahu, 17, hanged himself at his house in Hoshangabad district on March 5, a day before his board exam
Deepika Choubey, a Class 12 student of Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Bina, in Sagar district, took her own life over fears that she would fail in the English exam on March 5