A National Crime Records Bureau report shows a total of 8,934 students committed suicide in 2015, up from 8,068 the year before.
New Delhi: Failure to perform well in examinations killed four school students on an average daily in 2015, latest government data shared in Parliament reveals.
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data shows that 2,543 students — 1,360 below the age of 18 years (school students) and 1,183 in the 18-30 age bracket (pursuing higher education) — committed suicide in 2015 due to mounting pressure to do well in examinations.
Exam failure, however, saw among the lowest figures for cause of suicide — 2 per cent, the same as unemployment. It was significantly lower than other factors such as family problems (27 per cent), or poverty, physical abuse and professional issues (26 per cent).
According to the NCRB’s Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2015 report, the total number of students who committed suicide for various reasons in 2015 was 8,934, up from 8,068 in 2014. In 2016, the number rose again, with 9,474 students ending their lives, shows NCRB data.
Measures taken for counselling
The number of student suicides, particularly among those studying in schools, has been high despite various measures adopted by the Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry.
“Regular counselling sessions are conducted by inviting counsellors in schools where the students are found in a disturbed state. In case of serious psychological problems among the children, psychiatrists are engaged to identify the behavioural changes and the reasons for such behaviour by the specialised counsellors,” said a senior HRD official.
Further, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), through circulars, has also said that psychological counselling is to be provided to each student in an academic session at the secondary and senior secondary levels. The board highlighted the need for a full-time counsellor at all levels during a child’s school education.
During 2017-18, an amount of Rs 46.58 crore was allotted by the central government to states to disburse to government schools to carry out guidance and counselling activities.
The Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, which runs the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, a system of alternate schools for gifted students in rural India, has a training programme for teachers, where a couple of sessions are included to sensitise teachers and principals on the safety and security of the children. These sessions are also meant to identify suicidal tendencies among children and take preventive steps.