Gehlot directs to form panel to check student suicides in Kota: ‘Enrolling class 10 students a crime’
According to police records, 21 cases of suicides have been reported among students preparing for competitive exams in Kota district.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday expressed concerns over a spate in suicide cases among students preparing for competitive exams in Kota district and directed officials to form a committee to suggest measures to keep a check on such cases.
The chief minister said the “panel will be constituted under the supervision of Bhawani Detha, secretary of higher education, and will comprise various stakeholders, including representatives of coaching institutes, parents and doctors”. It will submit a report on the matter in 15 days, he added.
According to police records, 21 cases of suicides have been reported among students preparing for exams like Joint Entrance Examination and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test in the district this year, which is also the highest in eight years.
“There should not be any further rise in such (suicide) cases… time has come for improvement. We cannot see young students committing suicide… even the death of even one kid is unfortunate and is a huge loss for parents,” Gehlot said, as he chaired a meeting to discuss the surge in suicide cases.
The chief minister said students of Classes IX and X, preparing for board exams, should not be admitted to coaching institutes to prepare for competitive exams as it puts extra burden on them
“You are committing a crime in a way by enrolling students of Classes IX and X to coaching institutes. It is also the parents’ fault. Students face the burden of clearing the board exams and preparing for entrance exams,” he said.
Kota is the centre of India’s test-prep business, estimated to be worth ₹10,000 crore annually, according to officials in the district administration. Students from around the country arrive here in huge numbers after completing Class X, and register in residential test-prep institutes. They also enroll in schools, most of which are largely for purposes of certification.
Students attend classes only in the test-prep institutes, which prepare them for their Class XII examination, but more importantly, entrance examinations such as NEET and JEE. Some students find the grind stressful, especially because they are away from their families.
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