Parents pressure, Friends pressure, Peers pressure, Display of results pressure, Extra classes on Sat-Sun pressure, DPP pressure, etc.
Kota is not just a coaching factory but pressure cooker situation for engineering and medical aspirants.
Some (very few students) not able to handle this pressure, falls into depression, which leads to unfortunate incidents like suicides.
Why students in Kota feel the pressure?
Problem #1 Mentally not strong to handle the pressure. Till class 10th, the science education is very basic and easy to understand for majority of students. But when a student moves to class 11, there is a big transformation in the level of syllabus and students who are preparing for competitive exams like JEE/Medical need to adjust to the difficulty level.
Living alone, staying away from family, sometimes it gets hard for these young students to cope up with the changes.
Problem #2 Partiality in coaching institutes. The students who are coming to Kota are from different backgrounds. From rich and above average families, to middle class households. When they study together and results are displayed, the peer pressure is tough to handle for the low background under-performing students.
Perks to Intelligent students – Top faculties, AC classes, separate vehicles, more focus on them. These are the students who will bring more business to coaching institute next year. It affects the psychology of rest of the students who gets below average faculties and less attention.
This partiality in coaching have a negative effect on some students minds.
Problem #3 It’s also a matter of return on investment. This is what a student’s parents, both teachers at a local college in Udaipur, have spent over the basics of the Kota setup for two years: coaching institute= ₹2,13,000; hostel= ₹3,36,000; dummy school = ₹60,000. Total= ₹6,09,000.
This expenditure can put extra pressure on students to give result at any cost.
Problem #4 The dummy schools. In Kota, some reputed institutes have dummy schools running parallel with coaching. Students who come to Kota typically enrol in a dummy school here, they don’t attend it, but these shell outfits (money) help ensure the paper work required to progress through the school system till class 12, which you need to clear to be able to take the IIT JEE entrance. There are hundreds of such schools in Kota.
A regular school will allow students to relax from gruesome study in these coaching institutes. They will meet other students, teachers, and will participate in different activities. It’s a great stress buster for students.
Problem #5 No personal counselling. With all these students suicides in Kota, one thing is clear that teachers in the coaching are not taking interest in individual student. They are not monitoring the behavior of students. They are not identifying the signs of depression.
If teachers/coaching institutes starts focusing on personal counselling, we can definitely avoid these unfortunate incidents of students suicides in Kota.
Problem #6 Parents forced ambitions. By seeing the successful children of neighbors or friends, some parents tends to see the same dream for their child. Getting into an IIT is a big step towards achieving that dream. In some cases, the decisions are forced on the children.
Dheeraj Sanghi, IIT Kanpur Professor (currently at IIITD) and one of the well respected person in answering students queries, talked about parents dominating the decisions for students,
I reminded them that most of the suicides in Kota as well as many suicides in various IITs have been attributed to pressure from well meaning parents who loved their kids but didn’t realize when they crossed the line between advising and taking decisions on their behalf, particularly decisions that their wards did not like but had no courage to tell them so.
It’s not just about Kota
There are some new towns (like Sikar) which are slowly becoming coaching hub like Kota.
While mainstream media only reports about suicides in a specific city (Kota), but if you read your local newspaper, after the exam results like board exams, you can find the similar incidents from your own city.
It’s all due to exam pressure, sense of failure, and not living up to the expectations.
Change of mindset is required
The best thing to follow as a student is – To focus on effort and not the result. For many students, coaching/preparation is a journey where they learn many things and their hard work can’t be neglected on the basis of low scores in some tests/examinations.
As parents and teachers, it’s our duty to safeguard our children/students who are stressed, and we can do it by simple things like reaching out and having friendly talk with them.
Message for students in Kota
Please remember – No exam is bigger than your life. Try hard but never give up.
You may think that you have not lived up to the expectations of your parents, but it’s not true. They just want to see you happy and successful in life. They want you to live your life.
Studying from a prestigious institute is an opportunity and it’s great if you get it, but if not, then there will be plenty of other ways to succeed in life and one day you will achieve it.
Fee spent and dummy school data source: Huffingtonpost