Day 19 – Q 5.Why do so many students commit suicide each year? What is wrong with our education system? How can we address it? Discuss.
5. Why do so many students commit suicide each year? What is wrong with our education system? How can we address it? Discuss.
हर साल इतने छात्र आत्महत्या क्यों करते हैं? हमारी शिक्षा प्रणाली में क्या गलत है? इसे कैसे संबोधित कर सकते हैं? चर्चा करें।
According to the latest available data from the National Crime Records Bureau, a student commits suicide every hour in India.
From issues at college and school to drugs and depression over broken families, to fights with friends and breakups, students in India are killing themselves at a fast rate, with 26 suicides reported every 24 hours. Following are the reasons for such a high rate of suicide:
- Academic stress is a major reason for suicides among students in India, and the pressure continues beyond college.
- Pressure from parents to perform well in exams can affect a child’s mental health. Stories of successful students securing high salaries make the headlines and play a significant role in parents pushing their children to earn the same.
- Young high school students are forced to enrol in coaching factories, where they live in hostels away from parents and cram for exams to get into prestigious schools like the IIT. Ex. Kota Factory.
- Students follow draconian rules and study schedules that leave them feeling depleted and depressed. Those who fail to follow the demanding study schedules feel responsible for disappointing their parents and falling behind their peers.
- Many students who eventually pass the entrance exams feel even more pressure to excel at university.
- The lack of jobs and failure to create skills among the country’s youth will simply increase the frustration among students, forcing them to take the drastic step of ending their lives.
- Psychological concerns in children are on the rise, 12 per cent of Indian students between the age of 4 and 16 suffer from psychiatric disorders
- Rampant depression among students, due to social expectations and academic rigour motivates students to take the drastic step of ending their lives.
- Environmental challenges also lead to mental concerns: racial, sexual or religious discrimination, body-shaming, sexual challenges, emotional issues, low self-esteem or insecurities, family or financial problems, substance addiction, and even hormonal changes may play a part.
Caste Based Discrimination:
- Many people in India argue that caste-based discrimination lies at the root of student suicides in India. Ex. Rohit Vemula Suicide/
Bullying and Ragging:
- Being bullied by other kids can act as a trigger for suicide. This will include incidents during the raging of fresher in colleges.
Moreover, Students don’t have avenues to vent their feelings and express themselves.
Lacunas with educational System:
- The Indian education system fosters a competitive environment, and students who don’t secure admission to top institutes are viewed as failures. Admission to AIIMS and IITs is more competitive than those of America’s top schools like MIT and Harvard, which have acceptance rates of 9% and 7% respectively; AIIMS and IITs has an acceptance rate of below 0.1%.
- Marks and grading system make the situation worse when student compare among themselves and become the victim of inferiority complex.
- In India, job security is viewed as an integral addition to a good education, which leads colleges to heavily advertise their placements to garner good reviews and get more students to enrol. This creates pressure on students who feel a sense of personal failure when they do not secure the best job during the placement season.
Student suicides can be easily averted by the following measures:
- The government should make education performance assessment beyond grades and make it skill-based.
- The government should also carry out reform in the job market by asking the private sector to rethink criteria while hiring employees. Grades and colleges should stop being viewed as the only criteria for securing a good job.
- Setting up training and sensitization sessions for teachers, parents and students.
- Increase the role of counselling services. Educational institutions must have psychological counselling programs in place to help students deal with their issues in confidentiality and in a comfortable environment.
- Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression need to be addressed without stigma in schools and colleges, and parents should be encouraged to inculcate and foster feelings of sensitivity toward their children.
- Schools and colleges need to foster a culture of understanding and trust, where students feel free and safe to talk about issues like bullying and anxiety.
India is the youngest country in the world. Educational reforms should be addressed on a priority basis to get the required demographic dividend in the years to come. To ensure the holistic – physical, emotional and mental well-being of children, we must sincerely endeavour to bridge the gap in the education sector vis-à-vis mental well-being.