worrying trend

Kota coaching centres: heaven to some, hell to others

kota-exams (Files) A student studies in a classroom at the Bansal Classes in Kota, in Rajasthan | Reuters

A Delhi girl in Kota committed suicide on Thursday, a day after she cleared the IIT-JEE (Mains) as she was disappointed with her results. Her death has put the focus back on the growing students' suicide rate in Kota, which is a popular coaching hub for engineering and medical aspirants.

The victim identified as Kriti Tripathi took her life by jumping off a five-storey building in Rajasthan's Kota with a suicide note, prima facie indicating that she was upset over her performance in the entrance exams for IIT.

In the note, she has also claimed that she did not want to purse engineering but BSc as she aspired to become an astrophysicist, according to reports.

She had scored 144 even as the cut-off marks were 100 to qualify for IITs.

Tripathi was living with her parents in an apartment as she took coaching classes in Kota. Her parents, based in Ghaziabad, took turns to stay with her and take care of her.

The student jumped to death when her father stepped out of the apartment. She was rushed to a hospital, where she was declared brought dead.

Tripathi's suicide has put the focus back on the growing number of students ending their lives owing to pressure and disappointments over their academic performances.

About 1.5 lakh students attend coaching classes at various institutions around the country to prepare for competitive entrance exams for various professional courses.

Around 35,000 students, meanwhile, from different Kota institutions have cracked the IIT-JEE this year.

The shocking trend among the students of Kota, which dominates the coaching industry reportedly valued at Rs 600 crore, has baffled local administration and coaching centres. The local authorities have been taking measures to curb the growing number of suicides among the students even as the coaching centres last year jointly opened a counselling helpline. The round-the-clock helpline, however, has been not very effective, according to reports, as for over a lakh students studying in Kota, it has only two doctors, three stress counsellors and 10 academic counsellors.

In 2014, Kota recorded 45 student suicides, a sharp 61 per cent rise from 2013, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. However, not all student deaths were related to performance pressure. In 2015, around 45 students took their lives. Five students have committed suicide so far this year.

Pressure from educational institutions and parents to score better ranks is one of the major triggers among the students who take the extreme step.

However, a highly effective pan-India mechanism, including psychological help, safety nets among other regulations for students to cope with the stress and societal pressure are yet to be established.

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Topics : #education | #Suicide

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