Dying at 17!: Education system run by the educated yet uneducated people

I scored well in my tenth. Average in plus two. Okay Okay in graduation. Improved in Post graduation. Having a good career now.

But I could have died at 17. Just like those 20 students who suicided in the state of Telangana in the last 8 days. Yes! Even I would have suicided if I were not given the strength by my family. If I was not told that its okay for having scored less or failing in a subject. It’s not everything. If I didn’t realise that it’s not just the grades that matter in life. If my dad didn’t take me to the movie on the day of result, even after learning I’ve failed, the story might have been different. I might have died at 17.

Now, let’s see what has happened in Telangana. 9.74 lakh students have appeared for the Intermediate (plus1, plus2) examination in the state, while the results show 3.28 lakh students have failed. Some said it was a software glitch and blamed Telangana Board of Intermediate Education for outsourcing this to private software companies.

As the results were out on 18th of this month, in just less than a week over 20 students committed suicide out of depression, pressure from society, peers, friends and family. There is huge pressure on other students too who have scored less than what they have expected and many students went into a depression on knowing their results. The movement caught up after the opposition party leaders including BJP along with students and parents have staged protests in front of TBIE. People have protested against this issue in social media too. Twitterati trended #TelanganaIntermediateResults on top and there were many young professionals shared their support and built confidence in young minds through Facebook.

The Government, run by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has intervened on Wednesday and declared free re-evaluation for all those candidates who have failed and has set up a three-member committee to look into what has gone wrong.

Though this free re-evaluation and outburst of students and parents is just a knee jerk reaction for technical failures, the issue of suicides is much larger than we can imagine.

The pressure put on these students especially in the twin states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh is so high that there have been many suicides in the past too. The students from private colleges are made to study for 16 to 18 hours a day. Forget recreation, they won’t even have time for having food and daily things.

It is high time parents, society and governments to rethink on the education system and bring down the stress we put in young minds in the garb of competition.

The National Human rights commission has taken the issue as suo motu based on the media reports and served notice to the chief secretary of the state of Telangana and asked to revert within four weeks.

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