The result for the this year should be coming out in another month or two. Schools teachers, principals and students are waiting for the results anxiously. Every student wants to see his or her name in the list. Schools and colleges can’t wait to broadcast “their” success onto billboards, flexes and posters on all the streets, signals and on advertisements on Television and Radio.
There was always a hype for the Matric results but never like this. There was a time of healthy competition between students. But the entrance of private institutes and the competition to enrollment more students has pushed this competition over the edge. Education is not the holistic education any more, it’s all about cramming and getting highest marks in board exams. This has increased the pressure on young kids as they are continuously physically and mentally tortured by their so called mentors. And when they are unable to achieve the best results, some of them end their lives while others fall into depression.
Education should remain the process of learning and teaching instead of earning. The unchecked system of present educational entities, falsetto merits and the torture to the students is responsible for so many recent suicides by the students and frequent depression in them.
Four students in Chitral killed themselves because they were unsatisfied with their results in board exams. One student in Medical University of Karachi killed himself because he was continuously tortured by his professor for not performing well. One student of intermediate in Punjab College killed himself because he was pressured by his teachers for not getting good marks in his send-ups, even though he got highest marks in his Matric exams. The justification for their suicides put a serious question mark on our schools, colleges, universities and on our entire educational system.
The entire strategy needs to be changed. Schools, colleges and universities are the places to make our lives better, they are not made to take lives. Imagine the moments when students decide the only solution to save themselves from pressure, shame and humility is to end their lives. It is high time that we should focus on mental health of students and make this process of getting knowledge easy on their nerves .
The students should have greater independence and freedom of choice, devoid of any pressure by teachers or parents. They should be allowed to make their own decisions regarding their choices and that should be respected. If a student of engineering want to become a musician he or she should be allowed to become one. Schools, colleges and universities should create a kind of environment that encourage children to discover about themselves, identify their strengths and weaknesses and find their own hidden potentials.
The responsibility is on Government, Teachers and parents together. Government should ensure that the exams conducted by various boards, universities and colleges should be the test of wisdom not of memory. When this will be the case the schools, colleges and universities will not pressurize students for cramming the books. All the educational institutes should have counselors for students, who can help to reduce the mental stress in students. For instance Forman Christian College took a good step in this regard as it have Mercy center at its premises, where the senior psychologist is always available to discuss matters with the students pertaining to their mental health.
Parents should be proud of their children every if they 5 marks out of 10. Lastly we can learn from the experiences of countries such as Japan, Norway and Sweden. As educational system in these countries is all about getting knowledge not all about getting highest marks.