3 Class 10 students kill themselves after CBSE results: How we have failed our children

A society which makes a child believe that life is not worth living if the scores in an exam are low, is a failed society.

 |  3-minute read |   30-05-2018
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On May 29, as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) declared its Class 10 results, three children, aged 15 and 16 years, in the national capital killed themselves. The police have assigned poor results as the reason to all three cases.

kill690_053018065001.jpgBeing a teenager has never been easy.

Police identified the three as a 15-year-old girl from Ryan International School in Vasant Kunj; a 15-year-old boy from MR Vivekananda Model School in Dwarka; and a 16-year-old girl from the School of Open Learning in Dabri.

The Class 10 board exams made a comeback this year after CBSE scrapped the previous Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation system under which students were awarded grades.

The Vasant Kunj girl scored 70 per cent marks, the Dwarka boy 59 per cent, while the Dabri girl could not clear the Science and Mathematics paper.

The girl in Vasant Kunj hung herself from the ceiling fan of her house, the boy hung himself from the door frame of the drawing room, the Dabri girl first slit her slit her wrists and then hanged herself from a ceiling fan.

These are, however, not the first instances of children killing themselves over the marks scored in board examinations.

The suicides are particularly shocking because Class 10 results hardly have a bearing on anything other than deciding the stream one goes on to study from here on. This, of course, does not mean that suicides over Class 12 results are in any way understandable because they decide the college you study in. In the long journey that life is, both may turn out to be completely inconsequential aspects.

Being a teenager has never been easy. But in the current times, amid a system where scoring even a 90 per cent is not enough, growing up seems to have become more trying than ever.

While self-inflicted deaths among adolescents in the West are levelling off, India is topping the world in teen suicides. If drugs, alcohol and firearms are the favourite routes to self-destruction in the West, it's exam stress and inability to cope with disappointments here.

die690_053018065026.jpgAn average student continues to suffer under the pressure of expectations.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data shows every hour India loses one child to suicide.

While a system that was accused of being designed to fail students has given way to a system that grants students 100 per cent marks even in subjects meant to test creative and imaginative skills, an average student continues to suffer under the pressure of expectations.

A society which makes a child believe that life is not worth living if the scores in an exam are low, is a failed society. It is a society that needs to be jogged out of it slumber to ensure it doesn't reduce its children and their precious lives to numbers.

While many more students failed and scored low in state boards and even CBSE for that matter 10-15 years back, they knew they could try again. But things have changed now with paranoid parents making it a mission of their lives to ensure their child scores high numbers caring two hoots for what it does to a child's psychology.

In this crazy race for marks, we have reduced our students, children as young as 14 and 15 years, to mere numbers.

Also read: Amit Shah's 'Sampark for Samarthan' is a smart strategy to take on united Opposition

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