Students dying of suicide due to pressure of NEET Exam
The National Entrance cum Eligibility Test (NEET) is an entrance examination for all medical aspirants who wish to pursue courses related to the medical field like MBBS, BDS, etc. However, this year Tamil Nadu launched the Anti-NEET bill stating that this year it will not be the admission criteria to medical courses rather will be based on class XIIth marks. This decision is taken with regard to providing social justice to students as the pandemic has been hard on all. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Party has been trying to scrap the exam for a long time now as the NEET exam proves to be disadvantageous for rural and poor kids who cannot afford 'coaching' but wish to become a doctor and help the community. Opposition except BJP agreeing on the lines that NEET should not be just for the elite also supported this decision. Along with this, the government will also conduct telephonic counseling sessions for students who gave the exam.
In lieu of this decision, 2 students of the state have committed suicide due to anticipation of results and the pressure of getting admission to their desired college. A 17-year-old girl from Vellore also could not handle the pressure and marked the third student to die by suicide in the past four days. She was worried as she had scored only 84.9 percent in the 12th Board examination and was not sure if she would clear the entrance. Two students, one 17-year-old and the other 19-year-old who committed suicide preceded this even before the exam.
This is not only the case for NEET but other all India entrance examinations as well like UPSC, JEE, CLAT, CAT, etc. Often this pressure comes from students internally and is also backed by Parents and society. Numerous students decide to end their lives before the exam as they cannot handle the pressure of studies and expectations while others decide to end after the result due to fear of failure in Life. Cases have also been reported after admission to top colleges like IITs, IIMs, Medical Colleges, and others where students are put in a highly competitive world and at the time forced to ignore their mental health.
Looking into the matter, Chief Minister MK Stalin appealed to students to not end their lives rather reach out for mental health support via helpline number 104. He also requested parents to act as pillars of support during the time and help build self-confidence among children.
It is necessary for the stakeholders like parents, social workers, educators, and the society as a whole to realize that certain changes are necessary for the education system so as to build safer environments for students and help them learn values like work-life balance. Suicide numbers are increasing at an alarming rate all over the country especially among students and adolescents. Social workers, Counsellors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals along with government and private institutions can help make students capable of managing their emotions and identify the issues they are facing. Regular therapy sessions will not only help reduce the prevalence rates but also lead to individuals with a stronger mindset who will be capable to perform optimally in their fields at both a professional and a personal level.