Student ends life to 'reform' education system

Student ends life to 'reform' education system

Amid a raging pedagogic row in Tamil Nadu, sparked by curriculum quality concerns under the new ‘Uniform School Education System (USES)’ and most political parties demanding its implementation from this year itself, a ‘Plus Two’ class student in Salem district tragically ended his life after his pleas to his teacher to make ‘Mathematics teaching’ simpler, had backfired.

The 18-year-old Sreenivasan of a Government Higher Secondary School in Panaimarathuupatti near Salem , hanged himself in his home when both his parents were away for their daily work, Police sources said.

With all the Government and aided schools beginning this academic year only a few days back (June 15) amidst the new AIADMK Government sorting out quality issues vis-à-vis the syllabi prepared for the ‘USES’, sreenivasan’s suicide has come as a shocker to students, teachers and parents alike.

Police said that Sreenivasan had left behind a letter in his school bag explaining what drove him to this desperate act. Entering 12th class this year, the boy with ‘Computer Science’ elective, found to his dismay that the same teacher who taught him Mathematics in ‘Plus one’ was also the teacher now and the latter allegedly continued to teach the subject indifferently. 

“Even in the Plus One class we could not understand his (the teacher’s) Maths lessons,” Sreenivsan had reportedly spelt out in his letter, which the Police obtained after the boy’s death. The teacher came to class, rapidly dotted the entire blackboard with sums and equations, asking the “boys to copy them”. But the students had no clue what he was teaching.

Sreenivasan, with support of his class boys and girls, wrote a letter to the School Head Master about the quixotic fashion in which the Mathematics teacher went about his job. He urged the subject be taught “in a slower, more comprehensive way” instead of mechanically rushing through the syllabi.

However, other teachers on hearing of this letter to the HM, had allegedly threatened the student that he would not make the grade in the Science subjects practical exam and that he could even be sent out of school, Police sources in Salem told Deccan Herald over telephone on Monday. 

At the end of his letter, Sreenivasan hoped that at least after “my death”, there would be “some change for the better” in Government schools and that the State would ensure quality Education by appointing competent teachers.

Police arrested the concerned Mathematics teacher and remanded him to judicial custody on Monday, sources said. A case has been registered against the teacher under Section 306 of IPC (abetment of suicide). Police is also on the look out for three other teachers of the same school who are at large.

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