Hyderabad

Mark sheets or hangman’s noose?

Students in corporate colleges are made to work doubly hard to score high, else they face brickbats

Mark sheets of weekly tests have replaced the posters of achievers or film stars, a commonplace practice among youngsters, on the walls of their hostel room. Soon as they wake up, these sheets stare at them reminding them of two or three marks that they failed to score which their peers could.

It slowly builds fear in them as those two or three marks decide whether they get bouquets or brickbats from the teachers. This is the story of thousands of students in corporate colleges vying to outdo each other for a few more marks.

But such a small difference in the score turns dreadful for students to such an extent that they think there is no way out than suicide. Such is the intense competition created among students by the corporate colleges that a majority of them shudder at the thought of mark sheets. The brave ones survive while the weak-hearted give in.

Rising suicides

The series of suicides in the recent times have only revealed how a system can be systematically ruined and norms flouted as the government machinery turns a blind eye to it. The callousness reflects in the lack of data on students’ deaths with the Board of Intermediate Education (BIE).

“Unfortunately, the BIE’s role ends when the police file the case,” says a senior official unwilling to be quoted. Officials point out that there is not a single incident where a college or an individual was held responsible for the deaths and no effort made to collect relevant data to study the severity of the problem and find some solutions.

The Government Junior Lecturers’ Association (GJLA) president, Madhusudhan Reddy, reveals that increased suicides this year are linked to poor performance of corporate colleges in the national entrance tests in the previous academic year. Unlike in the past, the colleges could not produce national rankers in the previous exam and this pressure for better performance was passed onto the students.

With the Intermediate education made free in government colleges from the last year, increased seats in government residential, social welfare and tribal welfare colleges and their commendable performance in the Intermediate and entrance exams have put quite a lot of pressure on the corporate colleges.

The Students Federation of India (SFI), Telangana unit, vice-president, Tatini Lakshman, says the BIE is equally responsible for such suicides as they ignore the violations, and demands that the Neerada Reddy Committee report be implemented immediately.

The officials also feel the declining support for ideology-based student organisations and rising caste/religion-based student groups has weakened the student movement to a large extent. Earlier, student unions used to take up the issue and keep it alive for some time to create pressure on corporate colleges, which is no more in practice.

The ABVP central committee member, M. Raghavender, however, says they have taken up the issue several times, but the corporate lobby is too strong for the governments to take any action.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 8:59:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/mark-sheets-or-hangmans-noose/article19898369.ece

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