'Academics, peer pressure drive schoolkids to suicide'

9,474 students committed suicide in 2016.

New Delhi: Within just a few hours of declaration of the Class 10 (CBSE) results, three students committed suicide over poor performance in separate incidents in the national capital.

The three students, including two girls, were so dejected with their results that they thought it best to end their lives.

From peer pressure to high expectations of family and schools, students are killing themselves at a rate that is alarming. Going by the data released by the ministry of home affairs, around 9,474 students committed suicide in 2016 — at a rate of more than one student every hour.

“I used to feel a lot of parental pressure back when I was preparing for my board exams,” said Khushi Anand, a Class 11 student of Laxmi Public School in Hauz Khas.

While recalling the atmosphere in school, she said, “A lot of exams were conducted by the school and it built up the pressure. Continuous classes and exams used to exhaust us to death.”

Child and clinical psychologist Dr Meghna Bansal said, “Under the influence of society, parents, who are largely governed by conventional style of thinking that a child should either be an engineer or a doctor, tend to ignore the individual personality and potential of a child. Thus they coerce them into performing well in their studies and taunt them if they fail. This eventually leads to a low self esteem within students, which in later stage results into catastrophe, i.e. suicide. Hence it is essential for parents, instead of students, to go through counselling.”

Highlighting parental pressure and peer support, Mohd Saieed Shafi, an ex-student of DPS at Anantnag in Kashmir, said, “I used to prepare for my Class 12 board exams from NCERT books. But when my parents came to know about this fact, they started pressurising me to study from reference books. However, because of support from my sister and peers, I continued studying from my NCERT books and scored 83 per cent in my board exams.”

Ayush, a former student of St Columbo Public School in Pitampura, said: “Teachers, especially in tuitions, always expect their students to score high marks, which in reality creates pressure on us.”

Recollecting one particular incident, where his teacher gave his example to one of the visiting parents in front of the class saying that he will be scoring at least 95 per cent in board exams, he said, “This kind of incidents really put pressure on me and expectations soared.”

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