According to news report, as many as 27 SSC examinees tried to commit suicide in the last two days in different areas following the disclosure of SSC results. Of them, six have died and the rest are receiving treatment in hospitals. All of them were dissatisfied with their results. While some of them failed, some others narrowly missed A+.
This is a heartbreaking turn of events. One student named Shefa Alom left behind a suicide note which lays bare the fault line in our parenting care. She wrote, “Abbu I gave you my word that I will achieve GPA-5, but failed. Please forgive me.” Another student in Dhaka who got 4.95 also committed suicide! His fault was that he narrowly missed A+ for which his family came down so heavily on him that his tender heart could not bear it.He is a victim of the unreasonable pressure of a section of guardians who expect young pupil like him to get A+ in board examinations at any cost. Had the parents been a little bit sympathetic, a lot of lives could be saved.
Shefa is no more, but in a brief note she exposed our result-oriented education system and tyranny of parents who breathe down their ward’s neck — pushing, pushing, pushing and won’t except anything but A+.
When I came across this suicide note, I thought about several parents and their children in similar situations. I thought about my own childhood. What a scary world the children have had to occupy. Look around and you will find many other students __ who are being almost killed, if not killed, by the pressure of the system. It appears that children’s academic result have become a prestige issue for a section of guardians. Many of them openly say to their children that their prestige will be punctured in society if they don’t get GPA 5. So it appears that parents are engaging themselves in a maddening competition.
These sad stories should act as a wake-up call for our over-ambitious parents. Every parent wants a child to succeed. So basically they exert pressure on their wards in good faith. But not every child can cope up with the almost inhuman pressure of the rat race. To which some may put up well and be successful, but a few will succumb to pressure.
Besides, this heavy-handed approach took the sheen out of our education system, making learning a compulsion and frightening process while it should have been fun and habitual.
When a student fails or fails to achieve desired result, he or she is already in distress. Parents should not add insult to their injury. Rather they should be sympathetic. Besides, in order to create awareness in this regard, school authorities should employ psychologist or education councillor. Guardians should be made aware so that they don’t engage themselves in pointless competition. Life gives us ample opportunities to get something right, as long as we don’t give up. So students should be encouraged to be persistent in achieving their desired result, instead of seeking shortcut success.Shefa committed suicide which she too knew was not the right path. But the letter she left gives voice to all those children who are in his shoes and are vulnerable right now. Therefore, the parents’ expectation from their children must not be unrealistic and unguarded, and no success should come at the cost of their children’s lives.
The writer is a freelance contributor