Hyderabad: Memorising information and thereby attaining marks is what education is about. No thought is given to life skills in the curriculum that would help students cope with a fast changing world.
The rise in suicides soon after the declaration of examination results is the price we are paying for this neglect, say educational experts in the city.
There were seven suicides in the city and its surroundings after the Intermediate results were announced recently.
Students seem to have no coping mechanism, and pressure by parents and society at large is often the tipping point.
There were around 16 student suicides across the state this time, and many incidents of attempted suicide and depression being treated in hospitals.
Spending time with one’s children and listening to them is an important part of parenthood but some parents have no time and others say students have so much home work they get little time to do anything else.
Sangeeta Rao, a parent, belongs to the latter category. She says that even when parents make time for their children, “schools and colleges do not give us time to spend with our kids. We do not get time to talk to them as they are always occupied with some or other ‘project’. Even when they are at home during holidays, they are loaded with homework that is difficult to finish in the stipulated time. This should change, the child should be given time to interact and socialise without any burden. The school timings should change and the number of school days in a week should be five, with Saturday and Sunday left for their recreation.”
Dr P.K.N. Chowdary, consultant psychiatrist, says schools and colleges should start sessions where students are taught empathy, “where they are taught to listen without judging. Sometimes, students might not open up to teachers or parents, but they will talk to friends. Students themselves need to be trained in order to tackle this situation.”
There is a lot of competition in every sphere of life, and it begins earlier and earlier. From their teenage years youngsters have to make many decisions and have to cope with the pressure of making the right choices.
“This is the age when they need to get a lot of support from parents, teachers and peer groups. They should realise that life is precious and should not give it up on a momentary impulse, but start looking ahead,” said Ms Elvina, a teacher.
Psychologist Srinivas Sharma is scathing about the current educational system. Students are being taught only how to gain marks to get into some corporate institute, and the most important thing —how to deal with the failure — is ignored, he said.
“Even though they score 90 per cent with rote learning methods that is of no use when they do not have any emotional capability to handle situations. They must learn how to balance,” Mr Sharma said.