BENGALURU: Students from various institutes are questioning the government over the sudden increase in suicides among their peers. With exams around the corner, engineering students especially, have apparently started to feel the pressure.Prashant (name changed), in his final year of an engineering course at a college which recently witnessed suicide by a student, told TNIE that offline classes were not held since January and only lab classes were conducted.
With the gap in learning, he questioned how it was possible for them to write the exam without stress. The final-year examinations will begin in less than 10 days, he added. He relies on YouTube for his preparation, but says even that is insufficient when it comes to being graded based on classroom notes and lectures.
An electronics and communication student told TNIE that online classes, although conducted well by lecturers amid their Covid duties, could not be accessed by students due to lack of internet connectivity. She was also upset that offline classes were held only on request, and not officially. “’There is not enough gap between exams. The syllabus was not reduced, adding to the stress,” she said.
The uncertainty about the future and fear of joblessness was already there. But the phenomenon of growing suicidal tendencies among students is unprecedented, pointed out students associated with the All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO). Vinay Chandra, an office-bearer, said, “While talking to many students across the state, and friends of engineering and medical students who had killed themselves, we found that in many hostels in the districts, the pressure of exams was tangible.”
Ajay Kamath, state secretary of AIDSO, said there has been a demand to revamp the academic schedule keeping in view the difficulties faced by students in attending online classes, the economic crisis and psychological stress they went through. But the government paid no heed to these demands, he said.
“Thousands of students across the state are suffering from extreme pressure. Many experts and teachers feel that several students are either suffering from depression or are nearing that stage. But there are no concrete measures to attend to their plight,” added Ashwini K S, state president of AIDSO. At least three student suicides were reported in the state in last one month with two of the cases related to examinations.