Attendance issue is a common problem. But if the way the problem has been handled has led to a student trying to commit suicide, then there is something drastically wrong in the way in the whole manner the issue was handled.
It is not the first time, that students have attempted suicide. Mostly it relates to poor performance or fear of examination.
According to this news item in Huffington Post earlier this month, 57 young students have taken their lives on Kota. That is the city in Rajasthan which is renowned for the private education centres that coach students who are preparing for various competitive examinations in order to get into prestigious institutions like IIT, IIM etc.
Here is another news item from May 2008, which says that exam pressure is leading students to commit suicide.
Hopefully the one that happened in Goa will be the last.
Examinations, especially in school, are notorious for the amount of stress they give not only for the student but also for the parents, who take leave from office when their children have examinations.
I am not trying to argue that parents need not bother about their children's academic performance or they should just turn a blind eye when kids get very low scores.
What is driving mad these children is not the examination but the amount of pressure parents, relatives and the immediate friends' circle puts on them.
They all should help children rather than torment them. For example, if kids aren't interested in studies, parents should explore ways to get them interested. And also tell them, nicely but firmly, that studies and examinations are important, and shouldn't be ignored.
Parents should not force children to get high marks. Different children are endowed with different capabilities. Every parent should know their children very well.
High marks are good. But if a child doesn't get high marks, that doesn't mean that her future is doomed. Most parents, wrongly and with disastrous consequences, convey that view.
If children get low marks, parents, instead of shouting and screaming at them, should be with them, helping them out. Tell them, "You have done your best. It's not the end of the world. We shall see where and why you lost marks. We will make up, and show everyone, that I am able to get good marks."
If parents think that they aren't able to handle the situation, they must reach out people who can assist them. There are plenty of professional counsellors who can help. Sometimes, children tend to listen to what some others say rather than what their own parents say.
Let us hope that this alarming trend tapers, and finally no child ever has to take her or his life because of examinations.