HYDERABAD: It’s a little over two months into 2018 and the State has already seen at least five suicides of intermediate college students. However, surprisingly, the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education’s (TSBIE) help line has not received a single distress call. This, considering that over nine lakh students are writing the Intermediate Public Examination that started from Feb 28.
Alarmed with the surge in student suicides, TSBIE started a help desk last November to aid students, not just academically but also support them tide over any psychological crisis. Officials manning the helpline say they primarily receive calls from people seeking information, on issuance of hall ticket, examination centres, syllabus, etc.
TSBIE officials say this reflects that students are not comfortable seeking outside help, thus making it imperative for junior colleges to have professional counsellors or psychologists to provide timely aid to students. Speaking to Express, communication officer Krupakar Reddy said though the help line was created to provide an avenue where students, parents, college managements and officials could raise their queries and get them resolved, the TSBIE had hoped that those facing academic stress would turn to it too.
“We hoped that students, particularly during examination time, would seek help if they felt pressured.
This year, just before the exam commenced, we did receive several calls but they were mostly hall ticket-related issues, like when will they get it, if principal’s signature is required on downloaded admit cards, the location of exam centres, etc,” he said. In the aftermath of nearly 50 suicides within a span of a couple of months last year, it may be recalled that the Board had issued a list of instructions to the government, private and junior colleges in the state in a bid to stop the suicides. Foremost among these was the recruitment of a professional counsellor in all institutions.
“The pressure-cooker atmosphere of performing, constant guilt imposed by parents who spend lakhs in hope that their child will become doctor or engineer while disregarding his or her capability and interest,” said, Harinadh, a zoology lecturer at a corporate junior college in Himayathnagar.
March6: Depressed about not performing well in her exams, Shahjahan Begum hanged herself at her residence.
March 1: Worried about exams, first year MPC student Naveen committed suicide by hanging
Feb 14: Vaishnavi, a inter student committed suicide after the college staff counselled her over a love affair
Feb 8: Unable to take academic pressure, Dandu Ravali, a polytechnic student hanged herself
Feb 8: Rahul, a first-year intermediate student from Warangal jumped in front of a train because he did not want to study in his college