Student’s suicide: forum defends teachers

Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The suicide of Anjana Sanjith, a final year student of the BDS programme at the PMS College of Dental Science here, on May 11, was not occasioned by the actions of any teacher at the college and assertions to the contrary are baseless charges raised by a section of students.

This was stated by the representatives of the association of teachers of the college at a press conference here on Tuesday. The association was formed after the May 11 incident.

S. Suraj, a faculty member told the press conference that while it was true that Anjana Sanjith was asked to do pre-clinical work so that she could improve her medical skills, there was nothing demeaning or derogatory in this. Students of the BDS programme start treating patients from their third year of study. Only by repeated practise can they hone their skills. A lot of students in the college, over the years, have had to repeat pre-clinical work so that they improve their skills. This is a normal academic practise, he said.

Susan Mathew, the teacher against whom a section of the students have raised allegations of harassment did not behave in any negative manner towards Anjana Sanjith.

“All of us teach students in the same manner. There was nothing in what Susan said or did that could provoke a student to commit suicide,” said L. K. Suraj Kumar, a professor at the college.

When asked about the findings of a three-member committee of the University of Kerala that probed the incident, Dr. Suraj said the enquiry was conducted in an emotionally charged atmosphere and this could have influenced the conclusions arrived at by the committee.

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