Psychologists pitched for counselling; CBSE called meeting; Students complained about long-hour classes.

The Telangana education board received a jolt this year with 50 student suicides being reported in the course of the year.

The Telangana education board received a jolt this year with 50 student suicides being reported in the course of the year.

The Telangana education board received a jolt this year with 50 student suicides being reported in the course of the year. Most of the suicides were said to be on account of academic pressure, fear of failure, and exam tension. It became a matter of concern especially as Class Xth board exams are going to begin again in 2018 after a gap of nearly eight years. As education experts and parents raised a hue and cry, the board called for a meeting in October with representatives of schools and parent associations.

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A senior official of the board said that it was decided at the meeting that schools and coaching institutions should have some counselling facility for students. “We will closely monitor and ensure that all educational institutions hire an experienced counsellor so that students can share their worries,” the official said.

Psychologists say that suicide is sometimes a split-second decision so it’s good to have someone you can talk it out with. It is therefore important that counselling be available in every educational institution.

Many students took to social media to complain about the long hours of coaching, including the student from Narayana Coaching class who tweeted to minister K.T. Rama Rao about his 12-hour day with no break. Dr P. Madhusudhan Reddy, president of the Junior Lecturers organisation, Telangana, claims that most of these suicides happen in residential or corporate colleges. “Most residential educational institutions in the state flout all required norms and pressurise students more. In 2018, the government will monitor all institutions and affiliation will also be given only after careful inspection,” he said.

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Swati Reddy, education expert from Save Education Society says, “The government has also promised that the hours of coaching classes will be monitored. The new rules should be strictly adhered to. Eight hours or more of coaching after school hours is taxing on a child.” District education officers have to coordinate with each other to ensure that all advisories related to academics and student welfare are followed.

Subramaniam Nirukonda, president of HSPA says, “We hope that 2018 won’t be a year of lip service and paperwork. We want action to be taken. We will be meeting minister Kadiyam Srihari in January to ensure that schools follow all rules for student safety.

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There needs to be strict implementation.” The education board has proposed cancellation of weekend exams and tests held by coaching centres in 2018 to ensure that students get a break in between their school work. #KhabarLive

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