Do the students need this mental pressure?
By Sowmya Raju
According to a report by rmgoe.org, Students in India are more worried than ever before. It is a growing issue not only in India but throughout the world. India has one of the highest rates of suicide among those aged 15 to 29. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), one student commits suicide in India every hour, with an average of twenty-eight students committing suicide every 24 hours between now and 2022. In 2022, India experienced 1.3 lakh suicides, with students accounting for 8% and jobless people accounting for 10%. The causes are numerous, but examination failure, unemployment, and depression are the most common.
According to psychologists, students suffer from anxiety and traumatic disorder due to test anxiety and peer pressure from parents to push their children to acquire better results. Let's look at the five primary reasons for the increase in stress.
Tamil Nadu apparently has one of the highest rates of student suicide in India; according to the 2020 National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, over 46 individuals died by suicide in the state each day, with more than two of these deceased being students.
In line with the national trend of growing student suicides in the last year, Maharashtra has also seen an increase in the number of student suicides. According to the most recent National Crime Records Bureau statistics, 1,648 students committed suicide in Maharashtra.
This is because the pressure among students from external factors like teachers, parents, relatives, and others are leading to various mental issues in students and eventually suicide.
“Fourteen or 15 years is the age when a child develops his/her emotional intelligence. This is the age when they start to see the world for what it is, learn to socialize, and most importantly, begin to learn life skills,” said Poorni, teacher. India has now become a country where the competition for education has increased, especially among middle-class people. We live in a society in which the excellence of a person in academics almost defines him/her in every respect. The future education of their children is very important to Indian parents. With universities and educational institutions taking in only the best and the brightest, the parents have set a bar so high for their children that it has led to self-doubt and an increase in stress and anxiety among the latter. An advertisement from a private school states that it has a training programme for competitive examinations such as NEET, JEE, CLAT, LSAT, etc, for students in Class 8 What does this do to the students?
“My daughter Manaswini is in Class 8. I made the mistake of pressuring my son and pushing him to various coaching institutions as a child, and now he won’t even talk to me. I am not going to make the same mistake with Manas. I am going to let her follow her dreams, career-wise,” Geetha, the troubled mother, said. “I want to become an aerospace engineer, and I know I won’t change my ambition. So I have been going to advanced science classes for over a year now. I know what I want and I enjoy what I learn in these classes,” said Manaswini. Parents deciding on what their children’s career should be even as the latter are in primary school has put great pressure on the young ones, leading to severe anxiety that they simply cannot handle. Their childhood is lost in doing things under parental pressure and working through something they may never want to do. “I don’t want to be a doctor and I never will be. I don’t know what I want in life, but I know what I don’t want to do is to be a doctor or study medicine. But no one ever listens to me,” said Ishwarya, a Class 8 student, hoping that her mother didn’t hear what she said to this correspondent. She is only an example of how children are struggling at a very young age with the workload that they don’t want to take. “School syllabus is based on how much a student can mentally handle and learn. It is drafted on the basis of how much a student of a particular age can learn and understand. But with training like these, a student of Class 8 will be studying the syllabus of Class 10 or 11, which is way over his or her aptitude,” said Poorni. “This will also significantly affect the emotional, mental, and social capability of the student,” she added. If a student of Class 8 spends six to seven hours a day on his education, he spends the rest of his time intentionally or unintentionally building his social skills, and communication skills, skills that need to be experienced and cannot be learned from a book. These skills are essential. But if the same student is pressured to attend extra classes for the competitive examinations, he spends several hours on his education and consequently will have no time for life skills. “In today’s world, everything is a competition. Marks speak for everything. When I was in school, maybe ten people were competing for eight seats in a college. Now we have 10 lakh people competing for 10,000 seats, and there is no question that every student deserves to be there. But to survive in this competition, we need to start preparing our children from a very young age so they are fully prepared to face the competition,” said a parent. “My son is young, he doesn’t know what he wants, that is why I am pushing him into these classes, he will thank me later,” she added. The growing competition and demand for admissions in reputed educational institutions have left the students and their parents with no choice but to enroll in institutions that train for various competitive examinations right from Class 8. “Whether or not this is right is debatable, but the students these days know what they want. So it is the responsibility of the parents and teachers to analyze what the students actually want and explore career opportunities based on their interests and encourage them, rather than pressuring them to enroll in classes they may not be inclined towards,” said Sheetal, psychologist