Nineteen students have committed suicide in Telangana during last one week over the failure in the Intermediate examinations, according to media reports.
While there were no official figures available, newspapers and channels have reported that 19 students of Intermediate first and second year (Classes 11 and 12 ended their lives since last Thursday.
This is said to be the highest number of suicides by Intermediate students in recent years with the opposition parties blaming the goof-ups by the Telangana Board of Intermediate Education (TBIE) for the spate of suicides.
Three students in the age group of 18-19 years committed suicide while one student went missing on Wednesday. Those who ended their lives include Chakali Raju of Medak district. Depressed over failing in Economics and Civics in Intermediate second year, he hanged himself at his house. He was said to have scored the third rank in his college in the first year but scored low marks in the second year.
Akaram Mithi, 18, of Yadadri Bhongir district, also hanged herself as she had failed in Zoology and Physics papers in the second year.
Sailaja of Nizamabad district committed suicide as she did not get expected marks in the Intermediate examination. A student of MPC (Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry) she scored 847 out of 1,000 but was not happy with her performance.
Umesh Chandra, who failed in Intermediate first year examination, left his house in Warangal on the day results were announced and was yet to return home. Anxious parents lodged a missing complaint with the police.
The TBIE announced the results on April 18 and the goof-ups sparked an outcry from students and their parents. It drove some students to depression and resulted in their taking extreme the step.
The government has already formed a three-member committee to probe the bungling in declaring the results. The panel is looking into the system developed and implemented by an IT company whose services were hired by the TBIE.
The fiasco and the suicides triggered protests by the opposition parties and student groups. While admitting the lapses, TBIE assured the students that these will be rectified.
As the issue snowballed into a major row and caused embarrassment to the government coming, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao intervened on Wednesday to announce free re-verification of answer sheets for all the students who failed in the exams.
For other students, re-verification will be done with the prescribed fee and as per the existing rules and regulations.
A total of 9.74 lakh of students appeared in the Intermediate examinations held in February-March and out of these, 3.28 lakh failed.
The latest move by the government is expected to check the spate of suicide. Voicing his concern over the suicides, the Chief Minister appealed to the students to desist from taking the extreme step. KCR, as Rao is popularly known, told the students that failure in Intermediate exams is not the end of life.
“I felt extremely unhappy and deeply hurt over such incidents. Suicides of students is most unfortunate. Intermediate education is not the whole life. Failing in examination does not amount to failing in life. Life is precious. There will be plenty of opportunities,” he said.
He advised the students to stand up in life and be courageous. “If you commit suicide, you will be leaving behind a lot of sorrow to the parents. I appeal to every student not to commit suicide,” he said.