7000 student suicides in 2009 while 2010 started with a spate of student suicides that rocked the city. What is forcing student to commit suicide – an act that they cannot come back from, an act that leaves their close ones lost and estranged. Is it time that we seriously did something to de-stress education before more children sink under the tidal wave of school and parental demands and expectations? We leave you with this weekend’s special report with interviews of educationists, psychiatrists along with responses of the innocent minds with the message, “Lets’ not traumatize childhood” because no matter what; you do not get another chance to grow up again. Thanks for watching. Call it the 3 Idiots effect that the entire nation has got talking about student suicides. It’s all getting a bit too much for the kids of today. While adults scurry along in the rat race, children are sinking fast under a tidal wave of demands and expectations. Or so the story goes. India has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. One of the common reasons for student suicides is that exam-fixation mindset. It is that same exam-fixation that is also fueling an expanding out-of-school tuition trade that has become a parallel industry to the education system, forcing students to spend their waking hours competing for a few coveted spots at good colleges and universities. The current surge in student suicides is in large part a legacy of a failing education system. The way suicides are being reported, it has got the state worried too with the Chief Minister Ashok Chavan himself calling for a special meeting to address the issue. So how can we change this mindset of the people? It is a failed education system which, instead of making education a joyful experience, has turned it into a fiercely competitive fire walk compelling students to take the extreme step of killing themselves. For students, the journey for education seems to have become a cheerless, oppressive and a melancholic experience. Growing up has become difficult in a pressurized society, with the emphasis on success in exams just one of the burdens weighing down the sagging shoulders of the young. The parents, more often than not, want their children to live their dreams for them and fulfil their unfulfilled ambitions. In a rat race of sorts, the system is trying to make super-humans out of innocent minds, completely ruining every child’s precious present… Has it all gone too far? Is there too much pressure on students to blaze a trail to the top of the shop? We need a paradigm shift of attitude through acceptance, accommodation and awareness. Let’s celebrate the differences of every child, because every individual is different and when we accept these differences and include them in our education system, it will enhance their performance and build on their strengths besides letting them enjoy the innocent years of childhood. Lets’ face it ! You do not get another chance to grow up again. With cameraperson Abhay Prasad, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.
September 24, 2009