Sunday, April 08, 2012

Education - Stress - Suicides

The movies 3 Idiots and Hope have done their best to show the stress on students in the academics. I heard that, in one of the premier educational institutes of India, till 3 years back, atleast 2 students suicide every year.

Every institute is supposed to have an incharge for the student affairs, and they are supposed to solve the students problems. I don't know how many institutes have incharge for the student affairs and how many are solving the problems of students.

I would like to give one real example of one institute.

There was one main problem for many post graduate students in that institute. In one particular batch, out of the 45 students, 15 students were stressed out for a single reason. The institute has a rule that, if any student does not maintain 6 CPI in any semester, then that student would be terminated from the program. If they want to study, they have to again write the entrance test, get rank, and join the institute and restart the program from the beginning. Almost one third of the students were stressed because of that reason.

The institute needed to do just one change. If they don't terminate the students and allow students to spend more time to finish the program, that itself would reduce the stress for most of the students. But, it has not done that, but has done many useless things.

That institute has one dean for the student affairs, and it is very difficult to find a bigger moron than him. He gets out of box ideas for all the problems.

Once one student committed suicide in that institute. The dean came to know that, the student used to spend lot of time with computer and maintained a server which is used by many students for many purposes. The dean immediately banned internet at night time in hostels, saying because of using excessive internet, the students got stressed out. It is common in that institute, where the students have to work late nights to finish the assignments or projects. With that change, the students were forced to work in the department and return to hostel at late night. Only that dean knows the link between internet at night and stress.

In that institute, few followers of ISKCON used to organize sessions on spirituality and their main theme was reducing stress. Tens of people used to attend those programs. The programs are conducted in such a way that, there is absolutely no disturbance to any student who is not participating in that session. This dean came to know about these. One day suddenly, he appeared at the place where this session was happening. He took everyone to the main office, and took separate classes to the students of different years. He warned all the student organizers, and if they repeat this activity again, he would take serious action. He took written letter from the outsiders (who were alumni of the same institute) that, they will not enter the institute again without written permission from them. He also banned all the religious activities inside the campus. However, that dean never bothered about the bad habits of the students inside hostel. The students can drink, smoke and do all sorts of things and nobody objects to that. But, if anyone follows ISKCON, then it is a big problem, and they may face trouble.

Instead of solving the root problems, if the institute spends their time and effort on useless things, then the problems will never be solved.

I strongly feel that, if anyone suicides in any educational institute and if it is not because of personal reasons, then the head of that institute is responsible for that suicide.

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