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Let education and examination systems wake up to confront haunting reality of student suicides
The suicide by two girls within a fortnight in Kota, who were undergoing coaching for preparation of entrance examinations to get admission into so called 'centres of excellence' with a limited number of seats, have shocked people of Rajasthan, social activists, education and psychologists. In one case a visiting father of the girl also committed suicide along with her.

However, the government looks at the suicides as criminal acts and the police investigate it from that angle. But, many wonder, suicides by students are often caused by wrongs in the education system, faulty ambitions, unrealistic perceptions about life, competitive learning environment and screening examination system based marks economy, limiting quality to few institutions by creating so-called 'centers of excellence', lack of proper guidance and counselling, along with many personal reasons.

In Rajasthan's Kota city, which is known all over the country as major hub of private coaching for competitive examinations, every year students commit suicide due to fear of failure in examination and many in their in respective home town after the failure in examination. But, coaching business in Kota thrives with students from far flung places flocking to the city and living in private hostels and as paying guests.

"Failure in examination has the major share of suicides by young people. Almost half of the total number of suicides by students can be attributed to failure in examination. Rest of suicides are almost evenly distributed over family problems, sex abuse, drug abuse, failed love affair and bad company among students," said a Jaipur-based psychologist who also counsels students in distress.

Another thing that is becoming common among the Kota students committing suicide is the similarity in suicide note that often contains an apology from the parents and owning up the responsibility of the death. Such a note makes the task of the police easier and the case is closed with post-mortem formalities and handing over the body to parents.

Education and examination system must confront the student suicide crisis and reduce the risk by enhancing the quality of education and giving equal importance to all curriculum streams by not creating 'centres of excellence'. We must make every institution a centre of excellence and move towards the paradigm of 'educational quality for all', I think.

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 In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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