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Student suicide on rise in MP, prevention panel yet to submit report

Despite holding a number of rounds of discussions, the state government is yet to take concrete measures to check students’ suicide in the state.

education Updated: May 15, 2016 15:02 IST
Purvi Jain, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
MP board examinations,student suicide,exam stress
Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education recorded a pass percentage of 69.33% in Class 12 examination, the results for which were announced on May 12.(Picture for representation)

Despite holding a number of rounds of discussions, the state government is yet to take concrete measures to check students’ suicide in the state.

Since the Class 12 results of the Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education examinations were been declared on May 12, more than eight students have committed suicide and another six have attempted to commit suicide, taking the toll of students who have take the extreme step in the state to more than 42.

Earlier in March, after the chief minister intervened, a suicide prevention committee was formed in the state assembly. The committee, however, is yet to submit its report.

Results are crucial moment for students and the committee should have been ready with some plans, said educationists.

“We were given four month’s time of to submit a report on ways to prevent students from committing suicide so we are in the process of drafting it,” said Archana Chitnis, president of the suicide prevention committee and former state education minister.

“We will try to submit our report soon,” she said.

Minister of state for school education Deepak Joshi said all government-run schools in the state will have a counseller. But the government is yet to initiate the process for appointing counsellors in government schools.

In the wake of a spurt in suicides by school students, concern was raised in the state assembly during the budget session. Chief minister tried to boost the morale of students, saying that they should accept failures. Citing the Bhagvad Gita, he appealed to students not be stressed over results.

School education minister Paras Jain and Deepak Joshi too encouraged unsuccessful students while announcing the Class 12 board results on May 12.

The board has launched a programme ‘Ruk Jana Nahi’ for the students who failed in the Class 12 examinations so they do not lose another year, said Jain.

“In accordance with the cabinet discussions on students’ suicide and instructions of chief minister, we have decided to let failed students appear in the State Open Board exams and give them another chance to clear the exam within this session,” he said.

The stress of the results is visible as more than 500 students are calling the MPBSE helpline every day before the Class 10 results are scheduled declared on May 16. The helpline data, states that 800 calls came every day prior to the Class 12 results were declared.

Helpline counsellor Neeta Tiwari said, “Now we are mostly getting calls from Class 10 students. We are advising unsuccessful students that they still stand a chance as they can write the exams through the open school scheme.”

7 students commit suicide

At least seven students who appeared for the Madhya Pradesh board Class 12 examinations allegedly committed suicide in different parts of the state during the last 72 hours. The results of the examinations were declared on Thursday. Six other students who allegedly attempted suicide after failing to pass in the examinations are battling for life at hospitals in different districts.

Over 30 students in the state have taken their lives due to exam-related stress since January. Amir Mehboob, a Bhopal-based parenting counselor blamed poor communication between students and authority figures for the growing suicides. “There is a yawning communication gap between children and parents as well teachers and students, due to which pent-up feelings and problems of children stay unresolved, resulting in extreme cases to suicides,” Mehboob said.

First Published: May 15, 2016 15:02 IST