Coping with pressure

Last Updated : 25 November 2011, 17:07 IST
Last Updated : 25 November 2011, 17:07 IST

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Academic, societal and parental pressures have been cited as prime reasons for students taking the extreme step.

Are educational institutions doing enough to ensure that students perform well without feeling the pressure? Is there a balance struck between social activities and academics?

Metrolife spoke to the police, principals of degree colleges and engineering colleges to understand why an increasing number of students can’t take the pressure.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) T Suneel Kumar doesn’t really think that there was a need to take severe action against students who pelted stones and reacted in a violet manner.

 “We think students reacted in a fit of rage. There is no history of students from any educational institution in the City resorting to such violence.

The students, I am told, were angered by the management’s callousness in dealing with the whole situation,” he explains.

 He feels parents have the right to guide their children but they must refrain from pressurising their children to toe their line and make an attempt to understand and evaluate the child’s aspirations.

The managements of undergraduate colleges too feel that parents must make an attempt to understand the changing emotional, psychological and physical needs of a teenager and deal with them accordingly, whether at home or at college.

Prakash B Nayak, Director of Indian Academy School of Management Studies, says, “It’s important for parents, teachers and counsellors to familiarise themselves with facts about teens and young adults, especially when it comes to depression and suicide.
Suicide attempts among students may be based on long-standing problems related to either academic performance or problems triggered by a specific event.”

Suja Bennet, Principal, CMR Institute of Management Studies, says, “Students and parents must embark on any programme of study with full awareness of its requirements, norms and academic rigour. We have an effective mentor and counselling system to guide and handle students’ academic, personal and emotional concerns. Faculty, who act as mentors, undergo regular training to carry out the mentoring task in the best way possible,” she says.

Sr Albina, Principal of Mount Carmel College, feels that academic pressure alone does not drive students to take the extreme step.

She thinks multiple reasons are involved. “Societal pressures contribute immensely. For instance, employability is more degree and marks based rather than performance.
This must change. Our regular parent-teacher meeting makes sure we keep in touch with the students’ parents,” she informs. 

The engineering and medical college managements agree that the curriculum puts a lot of pressure on the students to perform well. A V Vijayasankar, Assistant Professor with Christ University Faculty of Engineering, says that the college makes sure that every student undergoes training in stress management and self-organisation.

“Value education is an important aspect in our university. In addition to encouraging students to do well, the faculty too undergoes training in personal skills. This will have a positive impact on the student,” reasons Vijayasankar. R Mahesh, faculty of chemistry with R V College of Engineering, says that their syllabus is not very tough.

He says, “There’s one mentor for a batch of 24 students. This mentor counsels him or her on academic issues and sometimes personal problems as well. There’s an open and friendly atmosphere where the students can talk and exchange their ideas with faculty members.” 

Published 25 November 2011, 17:07 IST

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