Seventeen-year-old Dhirengiri Goswami, student of Saraswati Vidya Mandir, Ramol, hanged himself at home in Narol. Dhiren had gone to check his class 11 result when teachers scolded him for failing in exams. In their statement to the police, his parents said that his teachers misbehaved with him and threatened to rusticate him from school.Fifteen-year-old Varun Dewan, a class 10 student of Maninagar could not handle exam pressure and ended his life. After he failed in his school exam, he feared he wouldn’t be able to clear his boards. This constant pressure made him take the extreme step.
An increasing number of minors are taking their lives, due to examination pressure coupled with their teachers’ rude behaviour.
According to Hansal Bhachech, consultant psychiatrist and head of Department of Psychiatry, HCG hospitals, the growing chasm between students and teachers is to blame.
Multiple factors can be attributed to this phenomenon, Bhachech said.“The teachers work under pressure and have personal issues. So, they tend to vent their anger knowingly or unknowingly on students. With no healthy communication, the gap between teachers and students is also widening. Moreover, the tolerance level of students has dipped. They are not able to handle the slightest pressure and eventually end up taking their lives.“
The need to understand the role of a teacher beyond hisher assigned job of `teaching’ is important, believes the doctor, and same with the students who need to understand that the teachers are not always wrong. Moreover, a variety of distractions impact the students who do not realise the importance of time management and when exams near, they feel pressured.
Sheth, founder-director of Saath Suicide Prevention Centre believes that the number of suicide attempts have increased in the past few months. “If you analyse suicide cases taking place these days, you will realize that the declining tolerance level and impulsiveness among youngsters is responsible. Majority of teen ssuicides take place due to study pressure, parental pressure and peer pressure. Earlier, more suicides took place after the results, but now most suicides take place at the time of exams,“ Sheth said.
Kartik Patel (14), a student of class 9, said his teachers get angry without reason. “The teachers sometime behave rudely with students and sometimes beat them up.“
A teacher who did not wished to be named said, “These days, parents try to over-protect their kids. So if a teacher is strict with students, parents rush to schools to complain. Moreover, technology has taken over their lives, so they feel depressed over petty issues and the think of taking their lives.Teachers are not the culprits always.“
Shalosh R Best, principal of Best High School, believes, “We should have an inbuilt system where we can `discuss’ the problems faced by students and teachers to maintain a healthy environment in school.“
(Some names have been changed to protect identities)