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Monday, Aug 26, 2019

Class 8 student kills self after failing to complete summer vacation homework

The suicide of an eighth standard student in Ranchi has set the alarm bells ringing about the pressure of holiday homeworks on children.

ranchi Updated: Jun 14, 2017 19:06 IST
Saurav Roy
Saurav Roy
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Representative photo of a noose
Representative photo of a noose

An eighth standard student hanged himself on Wednesday after allegedly failing to complete his summer vacation homework. The school had reopened on Monday.

The incident comes at a time when the debate over unwarranted pressure on students due to homework has forced the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to ask schools to cut down on homework, and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) to shun homework till class 6.

Fourteen-year-old Utkrisht Kumar used his school tie to hang himself from a ceiling fan in the wee hours of Wednesday at his residence. His mother found him hanging from the ceiling fan of his room while she went to check if he was asleep at around 2.30 a.m. His parents rushed him to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.

“The boy’s parents have said that he failed to complete his homework as the family had gone out of station during the vacation. He used the tie of his school uniform as a rope to hang himself,” said officer in-charge of Bariatu Police Station, Dhananjay Kumar Srivastava.

Utkrisht was a student of ICSE-affiliated St. Thomas School. His teachers said that he was an above-average student.

The deceased’s father Ranjeet Jaiswal runs a printing press.

This is not the first incident in Ranchi where a student committed suicide due to the pressure of studies.

In February, a class 12 student of Ranchi’s Lala Lajpat Rai School was hospitalized after he set himself ablaze in a classroom due to his failure to cope with pressure. He died the next day.

In 2016, the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) in its general meeting had decided to not give homework to students studying in classes UKG to 6.

Guidelines for Class 6 to 8 stated that formal homework should not be set, but pupils may be required to keep diaries, take up one or two projects or a hobby, suitable not only to their tastes and abilities but also the financial positions of the parents.

Psychiatrists say that a rise in such incidents shows that school teachers and the education system as a whole need to be sensitized about mental health of children.

“Even a class 8 student can be going through problems such as depression. The teachers need to understand that every student cannot cope with the pressure in the same manner. It is high time we introduce mental health first aid at schools,” said Dr. Siddharth Sinha, senior resident, Ranchi Institute of Neuro Psychiatry and Allied Sciences.

First Published: Jun 14, 2017 19:06 IST

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