By Mili Agarwal:
He was an excellent student. He had a bright future ahead of him. But destiny had other plans for him. A young life taken far too soon.
The recent suicide case of a third year student at Amity Law School, IP University, over alleged mental harassment by the university should be a wakeup call for all of us. Sushant Rohilla was debarred from taking end semester exams on account of short attendance and was asked to repeat an entire year. He couldn’t take this trauma and hung himself at his residence.
This incident shouldn’t just be seen as an aberration or any other suicide case. It raises several questions which need to be answered by the teaching fraternity:
1. Mechanical education system
In this era of cut throat competition amongst mushrooming universities, too much emphasis is given on systems and procedures. The students are lured using dazzling infrastructure as bait. The qualification of teachers or their competence becomes secondary. As a result of this, human touch in education is missing. If this is the case, students might as well just take MOOC classes and do away with attending college.
2. Institutional apathyAdministrators are taking over universities. They become the power centres and take arbitrary decisions without even consulting teachers. Often, these people come from a military background and their only task is to enforce strict discipline. These are young students we are dealing with, not commandos.
3. Corporate model in education
A lot of private universities are being set up by big corporate houses whose ultimate aim is to make profits. They see education as a service being offered in lieu of a remuneration. The relation between a student and teacher is like that of a client and an agency. In such a scenario, it only makes more business sense for the university to ask a student to repeat an entire year (more fees) on flimsy pretexts.
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