The reported suicides of two students hit the headlines recently, disheartening the nation even more so. One student hailed from the Northern areas of Pakistan and was on a full scholarship and job guarantee at a reputed nursing school while the other student, who was 27 years old, studied at a private university. When the latter took his life, everyone on the electronic media was blaming the university and education system. The student committed suicide when he was not allowed to sit in the exam. A shrill and over-confident anchor at a private channel was quick to say that if the student had paid the university management, they could have let him appear in the exam. It appeared she did not do the homework and did not have enough information about the student.
According to news reports, the student was enrolled in the BDS programme at a private university, since 2007 and had failed exams every single year. He reached the examination hall 30 minutes after the exam was over and asked the examiner to let him sit in the test. Obviously, the examiner ruled it out. The argument was futile and he immolated himself. Usually, the examiner leaves the examination hall right after the exam is over. He cannot allow anyone to sit in the exam, as the time is over. It would not have been fair on the part of the university to let a student appear in exam after the time is over.
In some cases, if a student reaches a little late, the examiner usually allows him or her to sit in the exam if the reason for the delay is genuine. But never if the student arrives half an hour after the exam is over. The student must have been under pressure to pass the exam. His brother and other siblings are educated and well settled in the US. If he failed exams every year with such consistency, why didn’t his family take notice? He may have been intelligent but perhaps dentistry was not his calling. Was it not his family’s responsibility to ask him to give up on dentistry and do something he liked? Perhaps there’s more to his story that might never unfold. It’s terrible that a young capable man took his own life.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2016.