Letter from a Student to a Friend on the Crucial Issue of the Examination Pressure Resulting In Suicides
You may find this letter of mine, rather unusual — unusual in the sense that it is not regarding any personal matter or about any proposal for a picnic that I am writing this.
Today’s ____________ (Newspaper Name) brings news which has greatly upset me and I want to share my feelings with you.
The news says that a young boy who was appearing at the class 12 examination could not cope with the dejection of not having measured up to his own expectations and thus 17 year old student hanged himself by a bed sheet from the ceiling fan of his room and committed suicide. This happened a week after he took his mathematics paper.
Ever since ____________ (Date of the Examinations) examination, though outwardly calm, the boy was feeling severely disturbed. His father, an officer in the army, had taken a break only to be with him during his examination of the board. The boy had broached the topic of his disappointment to his father, who had liked any other father, gave him all consolation and tried to boost him up.
Not a word of reproach was addressed to him. Still, this also could not console the boy and he committed the most dreadful deed of ending his life in this manner — a terrible shock and loss to the parents and to the family to lament for all their lives.
A young man of 17, in the prime of his youth, on the threshold of his life, gives up in such a frustration. The news has been really disturbing me ever since I read it in the paper. I really feel a great sympathy for the bereaved parents, but I really feel no sympathy for the boy, rather I feel a pity on his indiscretion and impetuous action.
What was that frustrating for him as to end his life? He had a weak will, otherwise life offers to many chances, failures do not close all doors, life can be better lived by struggling and striving — not by giving up in this way.
What did he get there from — he, of course, lost his life but never did he think what misery and agony was he leaving behind for his parents and family. Class XII was not the be-all and end-all of life.
Worst for most, even if he had failed, he was just 17 years old — life lay long for him — more efforts, more endeavours could bring better results. Life is not given to be lived just as we want it to be — there can be ups and downs, there can be rise and falls — but go on, carry on, struggle on — that is my way of thinking.
Don’t think I am haranguing too many platitudes and high sounding ideals but I am saying what I really feel about such a giving up of life. We need to fight odds — that are how life has to be lived and not to get defeated so soon. Anything else lost can be gamed; an examination once failed can be passed but life once lost cannot be got back.
I hope you would also agree with what I say and feel. At least that is what my way of thinking is — may appear a little too mature at this immature age but it is from now that we have to begin seasoning our minds to prepare for life.
A point, of course, about these board examinations too. There are cases year after year reported of such suicides only due to frustrations. The system of these examinations needs also to learn something from these unfortunate incidents. Let there be a year long process of evaluation so that there is no such peer pressure at the eve or during the examination.
The student could keep on coolly appearing at these periodical tests — answer- scripts may be evaluated at other centres — answer-scripts may be evaluated at other centres — there may be an exchange of evaluators from one school to another and that would eliminate the possibility or the apprehension of favour or disfavour. This system, if can be developed, can go along way in eliminating the undue pressure put on students at the time of examination.
What do you think of this? It is not an innovative thinking on the part of a would be examinee? I have also to take the class XII examination next year but I keep cool and calm, remain regular with my studies and God willing, shall have no pressure to suffer from.
My faith in my thoughts would sand doubly reassured if you also endorse them.
I would so much like if you show this letter of mine to your Mom. She may also, perhaps, appreciate and endorse them.
Write back your views and reactions. I shall await your letter in reply rather eagerly.
Hope your studies are going on well. We, both have to face the ordeal of this examination next year — do it with all coolness and composure — take my advice in the matter my regards to your papa and mom.