AP education minister warns colleges of action over spurt in student suicides

AP education minister warns colleges of action over spurt in student suicides
With over 38 young Intermediate students committing suicide owing to academic pressure in residential colleges during the last three years, the education minister of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday warned the colleges of stern action. The minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao visited the hostel of Narayana College in Visakhapatnam and spoke with the girl students present at the hostel.

The minister who is related to the Municipal Minister Narayana who owns the Narayana-Chaitanya group of colleges has been criticized by the opposition for not even sending a notice to the college over the death of a long list of students. “I will not spare even Narayana colleges if we find any lacunae,” Ganta said. He added that problem is with the private hostels which are not owned by the colleges. “There are 188 such affiliated hostels in the state,” the minister said.

The minister said that he has called for a meeting of management of all residential colleges, hostels and parents on 16 October to discuss the issue of suicides in hostels. The trend of suicides which has begun few years has reached a crescendo with six students committing suicides in the state during the past two days. Even as the law stipulates that certain boarders should have a counsellor that they could talk to and a redressal system in case of ragging, no such arrangement exists.

Unfortunately, many of the hostels in the state have no CC cameras installed to keep a tab on the movement of the students. In the past two days, at least two students stayed back during breakfast and dinner time and committed suicide while their roommates were away at the mess. In many cases, the hostel staff was found deficient of knowledge of first aid or basics of police procedure. In many cases, the crime scene has been altered by the staff and the students due to lack of knowledge.

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