The news that I hear

Friday, May 19, 2006

Examinations and student suicides

"Do you want to be a maid-servant or a cowherd?"

"If you do not get 97%, you will end up being nothing in life."

"Maths and science is what you should pursue. What are you going to do in life studying Art or geography?"

"My sister's daughter got into MBA this year, if you do not get into MBA, we will loose our face in the family."

These are common dialogues in Indian households. Examination results of 10th and 12 th standards in many states are just being released. Performance of girls is better in most states than boys. Both girls and boys are however under immense pressure to do well in exam's. Indian students are fed on a diet of exams. It is performance at exams that make or break their lives. To worry, crib, cry and be put under immense stress begins at school. Sad. I thought the only time when humans were free to be what they are and to live and savour the innocence of life was in our school days. Once we step out of it, we were ready to pounce and be pounced and preyed and begin a life of judgement.

A Delhi college student Heena Singh committed suicide yesterday under stress of exams. A few days earlier a 15 year old class 10 student took her life just before the results were to be declared. But worse is the case of 15 year old Shefali who was reported to be sufferring from anxiety. Although she secured 97 % in her pre-board exams, she hung herself to death unable to cope with the anxiety. Sleeplessness, depression, eating dis-orders etc etc have become a part of student lives. Many students see hopelessness and a bleak future out of their studies.

During the first week of May, a student of IIT, Kanpur - Shailesh Sharma ended his life reportedly over the grading system after he had failed to pass certain exams. Another student had ended his life by jumping from the fifth floor apparently due to similar reasons. (Source: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7003449112)

How many more young lives will we loose to these killer examinations and grade system.

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