In 2017, Arjun Bhardwaj, live-streamed his suicide by jumping from a high-storey hotel in Mumbai. His father reported that his son was depressed “due to repeated failure in exams”. In April 2017, a 16-year-old student from Rajasthan committed suicide allegedly after failing to clear the IIT-Jee-Mains. A similar story was reported in the papers about a 19-year-old-girl from Himachal Pradesh who committed suicide
India has the highest rate of suicide committed by students. In fact, 40k students have committed suicide between 2011-2015.
What is that is stressing our students to the point of taking their own lives? Are we missing something that can change the course of their lives?
The Indian education system encourages students to participate in the unhealthy competition called Who-got-the-highest-percentage. The colleges want students with the highest percentage and the entrance tests are testing students at the national level. This rat-race mentality is what is leaving behind the “average” students. These ‘average students’ are smarter than what we give them credit for. The comparison and the misplaced competitive spirit leads to stress and disappointment.
Peer support and effective communication are at its all-time low, thanks to millennials’ addiction to technology. Peer support is essential to the good school year. When this peer support is missing, students don’t know where or who to turn to for support.
Untrained teachers can lead to a stressful environment in the classroom. Unnecessary assignments and heavy syllabus for testing can lead to stress.
It is a dangerous assumption that all students come with the right mindset to the examination hall. There are so Many children and adults who are struck by the fear of examination. This paralyzing fear of examination can cause stress and anxiousness in the students, thus not allowing them to give their best.
According to research done by the American Psychological Association, our brain is done designed for performing complex tasks at one time. Our Indian educational system, in fact, demands heavy-duty multitasking by young minds. Failing to do so effectively leads to the disheartened feeling of being able to achieve the goal.
Our Indian school system needs to do more than appointing counsellors in the school. They need to create an environment where students of various calibre and learning styles thrive rather than being in constant fear of failure.
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