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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Coaching factories of Kota and 19 suicides in one year - IBN Live

Posted on: 07:21 PM IST Jan 20, 2016 | Updated on: 10:16 pm,Jan 20,2016 IST

Kota: Even after 19 students allegedly committed suicide in Kota in a year, the city's Rs 2000 crore coaching industry continues to pride itself only in its USP of high success rates at the engineering and medical entrance exams. With the coaching institutes refusing to acknowledge the trouble brewing in the city’s underbelly, ambitious parents and students who sometimes give in to the pressure continue to flock to the Kota.
Every morning students queue up for personal consultation with teachers at Kota’s biggest coaching institutes. The pressure is high for students who are in the city from various parts of the country to crack exams like the IIT JEE which has a ratio of around 12 lakh aspirants for 10,000 seats.

The road to success goes through weekly tests that lead to batch segregation. It's a 12 hour day, rare weekly off and almost zero extracurricular activities for the students which all adds to that less than average living conditions. Such issues led Akshunn to return home to Jodhpur.
Akshunn Bishnoi, a former coaching student, said, "There is batch segregation. If you don’t maintain your score teachers humiliate you. Some can take it and some cannot. I decided I am better off preparing at home."
But even as the suicide rate grows along with the success rate in the coaching hub, the institutes continue to turn a blind eye to growing stress levels among students. Most institutes do not want to acknowledge that there is a problem, let alone address it.

Rajesh Maheshwari, director of Allen Career Academy, said, "We have given some days off but fun and games are not what students come here for. They come here to study for these competitive exams and that is what we are known for."
From mandatory weekly days off, giving an easy exit plan, re-assessing batch segregation based on scores, screening tests for admissions to avoiding ads with posters of students, Kota’s coaching factories seem reluctant to change their ways.
While the district administration is hopeful it’ll drive the point of seriousness of growing student suicides home with the institutes, with the interests of an industry that has grown on its own at stake, it also believes there is only so much it can do.
Kota District Magistrate Ravi Kumar Surpur said that the students are being trained for gaining entry into medical and engineering institutions where the competition is high and so in the name of directives the government cannot afford to altogether dilute the process.
Unless the coaching institutes as well as parents look at the plight of the students with sensitivity, checking stress levels, depression and suicides will remain a challenge, say experts.