Beyond Endurance

Education for the sake of life or life for the sake of education? Well, this is quite a tricky question but the present day situation narrates a different story. The rat race of becoming successful has taken up such pace in every field that every individual is competing hard to prove himself.

To be at par with this age of advancement and fast growing knowledge accumulation system, education system continuously undergoes upgradation. The content of our education system is flawless according to the advancement standards of the age , yet what remains a mind boggling issue whether the IQ level of all the students pursuing these courses is at par or not.

The entrapping fog from our curiosity can be removed if we site this recent incident. Ritika Toya Chatterjee, a B-tech final student of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) committed suicide after she failed in two of her exams in her final semester. Ritika had immense aptitude and cleared all her written tests and interviews in all the six IIMs. Yet, she failed to clear her internal exams. Sounds bizarre, doesn’t it?

It is the fifth suicide in the three years in IIT Kanpur. Ritika’s death was the second in forty-five days and seventh in three years. Five of the seven suicides were due to failure in exams. A “hush-hush grading system” and a “poor grievance redressal mechanism” are being blamed for so many untimely deaths. Such scenario is not only at IIT but among students of all age groups.

Indian social system is such that the moment a child is born, his parents start planning his future – the school in which he has to be enrolled, what stream he should pursue and profession he should excel in. Often, these plans are done by the parents either to realise their unfulfilled dream through their children or because they feel that their planning will give their children the most lavish future. In the long run, heaped with all these pressures, the children forget their own aspirations and tread in the path paved by their parents. Even today, Indian parents have such taboos in their thought process that they would never allow their children to be an artist, singer or a dancer believing that these fields can be pleasant hobbies but not a firm career. On the other hand, the education system is so complicated and harshly competitive that even an extremely brilliant student often fails to cope up with the pressure and continuously loses on his grades and tends to become suicidal due to his pent up frustrations.

Sandeep Kanade, a product specialist feels,”everybody in the world is fighting to survive, but students are finding ways to suicide. “. According to him, teachers and parents should try to probe deeper and find the reason behind such pressures built up on students.

Education is meant to give knowledge, prosperity and a guidance to lead a meaningful life. But, when this education becomes the cause of someone’s death, the total existence of such a meaningful institution loses its core value. Parents should always try to instill the positive feeling within their children, so that they can have a successful life, whatever field they pursue. Similarly, education system should not be so stringent and should try to impart through more interactive and practical mediums. Students have no less responsibility. They should understand the importance of life. They should perceive that they have been given this life to utilize it for something meaningful.

Hence, don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.

Sridatta Gupta

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