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Is there a way to curb burgeoning suicides among students?
In today's fast world, people have become so busy that taking out time for others has become simply impossible. Children these days have also made their lives so busy and hectic because of their academics, work routine and then unnecessary social commitments that it gets hard for them to take time off for their loved ones, let alone their parents.

These are the realities of life and people have changed their priorities because it is the need of the hour, and to survive in today’s fast moving world one needs to catch up in the race otherwise he will be left behind. Students and parents must change with the changed circumstances.

While there was news about various students scoring brilliantly, there was also sad news about a girl who committed suicide for failing to score better in the exams. There are reports that within 24 hours of the declaration of final exam result, 12 students have ended their life. Such incidents are a regular feature every year in every corner of the country. Do these incidents look normal and should they be ignored by simply expressing a concern?

Education is not solely an object, a designated body of knowledge to seize and manipulate. The way in which knowledge is pursued, grasped and dispatched are ultimately much more important.

The basic concern of school education is to enable children to make sense of life and develop their potential, and to promote values that foster peace, humaneness and tolerance in a multi cultural society. It must also simultaneously reflect the current needs and aspirations of society as well as its lasting values and immediate concerns of society as well as broad human ideals.

We are living in an era of rapid socio economic and political readjustment throughout the globe. In this readjustment, the role of schools as educational institutions is significant.

Education is not only, or even mainly about acquiring more and more information. A child’s mind is not a bank in which he is to be trained to deposit daily quantities of information and withdraw it only during examinations. Students are mainly trained to memorize than to think independently and creatively. They are trained more to uncritically accept what is taught to them than to doubt and to question and search for answers themselves.

In order to understand the meaning of Educaring, it is important for schools to revisit their aims and objectives. Nevertheless, schools should aim to mould the total personality of a child – developing his mind, sharpening his intellect, nurturing his creativity, strengthening his body, and, above all, enriching his character and imparting to him the values that make him a good human being and a good citizen. Further, schools should also aim to impart education that strengthens the bonds of national unity that fosters in young minds a natural inclination to rise above narrow caste, communal and class divisions.

It is felt that the failure in exams is not only the reason behind these suicides, but it is a sign of this disease. Our education system, social status etc. and above all, we are responsible for all these incidents. The debate on the education system has been going on for long periods now and how far it will continue cannot be said but why it is so in our society that a student on failure in exams becomes a problem for the parents and society?

Is it that all his good things are converted into bad things for a simple failure in exams? Is passing exams with 90 per cent marks or above the yard stick of one’s knowledge? Sometimes, we laugh on the people who feel too much happy for their kids for scoring high marks and even don’t hesitate to get the same published in the newspapers. This is the reason, majority of the parents are in race of making their children doctors, engineers only by ensuring to get the maximum marks in the basic Plus One and Plus Two exams. They don’t treat them as humans.

At the same time, they don’t have to assess the aptitude of their children as to whether or not he is fit to go in particular field for higher education. They try to get them best coaching for getting admission in the renowned institutions while these coaching institutions are concerned with coaching only and don’t guarantee success in the competition.

Do we try to understand whether our children are getting moral education in the school? The films like ‘Tare Zameen Par’ and ‘Three Idiots’ definitely shake our conscience for some time but after that, we get back to the same environment.

With the introduction of this CCE system, the students are eased so far as home work is concerned whereas the teachers are over burdened because they don’t get time to check the notebooks of students during the break periods.

The other alternative to avert suicides among students is that only fellow students or teachers can make out from the behavior of a person by counseling him or her or contacting the family. Rising cases of suicide is a social problem and not of a particular city.

The most important factor to maintain quality education is to maintain the teacher-student ratio in schools which is officially 1:30 in government schools whereas it is 1:50 or above in private schools. The adoption of the ad-arrangement in the appointment of teachers in schools, by paying them only peanuts as salaries, is also playing havoc with the quality of education. The private institutions are also working on the same theory of adhocism and extorting hefty fees from students and compromising with the quality of education.

Educationists Dr. Satinder Singh and Ms. Shivani Arora by virtue of their experience are of the view that CCE (Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation) should be implemented and value based education must be an integral part of our education system. This will ensure no student fails and will eventually help to overcome the problem of suicides among students.

In the area of assessment and evaluation, at the primary level, the schools have been directed to introduce Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation. It has been made very clear that assessment of the students should not be made on the basis of year-end one shot terminal examination. Five points grading has to be implemented in place of marks from classes I-VIII and no pass-fail criteria for Classes I to V. At the secondary and senior secondary level examinations, reform is an ongoing process. There has been a conscious effort in reforming the board examinations, both at Class X and Class XII levels to de-emphasize rote memory and to eliminate chance factor. The Board has also provided flexibility and many other concessions to the dyslexic, blind and other physically challenged students.

Students learn best individually, meeting their own needs over the needs of the group. Internal success should be fostered, rather than external judgment. Teachers should be able to analyze progress and offer highly customized feedback. And, perhaps most importantly, students learn to compete with themselves, rather than with each other.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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