Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has addressed the concerning issue of student suicides in Kota, a prominent coaching hub, emphasizing the collective responsibility to alleviate student stress. Pradhan expressed the importance of preventing student suicides and reducing the need for coaching by enhancing the quality of school education.
This year, Kota has witnessed a distressing increase in student suicides, with 23 reported cases thus far, compared to 15 last year. Over 2.5 lakh students migrate to Kota annually to prepare for competitive exams such as JEE and NEET, often enrolling in "dummy schools." These dummy schools have raised concerns about hindering students' personal growth, causing isolation and stress, PTI reported.
Minister Pradhan acknowledged the significance of addressing the issue of dummy schools and encouraged serious discussions on the matter. He also highlighted the government's efforts to create a student-centric education system that reduces the reliance on coaching.
The recently issued Rajasthan government guidelines for coaching institutes include recommendations such as not glorifying toppers, keeping routine test results confidential, refraining from segregating students based on their ranks, and providing a policy for easy exit and refunds within 120 days.
To combat the spike in suicide cases, Kota's administration has mandated the installation of anti-hanging devices in fans and implemented measures like anti-suicide nets in hostels. These steps aim to prevent extreme actions and protect students' well-being.
Kota, known for its competitive exam coaching industry, is now grappling with the tragic consequences of intense pressure on students. The city's reputation for producing successful candidates in exams like IIT-JEE and NEET is now juxtaposed with a pressing need to address the mental health and educational concerns of its students, as evidenced by the 25 suicides reported in the region until September.