There have already been four cases of teenage suicide since the beginning of 2014.
On March 5 Gulf News ran a story about the 16-year-old boy who killed himself for reasons still unclear (‘I don’t blame my son, it is not his fault, grieving father says,’ Gulf News, March 5).
The Grade 11 pupil at an Indian curriculum school took his life on the afternoon of March 2. His body was found hanging from the motor room located on the terrace of his residential building in Sharjah.
Our readers weighed in with their views on factors that lead to teenage suicides on our Facebook page. We present a selection of comments.
This has a lot to do with the education system we Indians follow in our part of the world. There is too much focus on scoring high marks and telling children that the purpose of going to school is to be the best out there. Parents cannot always compare their children to the toppers in the school; all children cannot cope with it. Teachers cannot at any point make the weaker students feel that they are useless. To add to all this is the generation gap and the lack of communication between parents and children. Children always feel that their parents will shout or hit them because parents tell their children their life stories and how their teachers and parents were harsh with them. This creates a gap in their relationship, which often leads to zero communication between them. The strong hearted survive and the weak fall prey to drugs or other issues. This is the sad state that we have reached in this age of technology. I really hope and pray that parents tell their children that there is life beyond questions and answers that fetch them marks in school. People need to remember that not everyone can become a doctor or scientist.
From Mr Preston Viegas
Pressure from teachers
It is not just the generation gap between students and parents, students are being pressurised by their teachers. In a week out of five working days, students have some sort of tests or assessments on at least four days, which is absolutely wrong. A good teacher doesn’t need to burden students with so many tests. I request the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) to look into it.
From Ms Asma Mazhar
This is a very sad story. I think it is very important for parents to discuss with their children about their daily studies and regularly ask them if they are facing any problems. Parents should never let them feel that if they don’t get good grades, it will be a big problem. I urge both teachers and parents to be friendly with their children. Being harsh is wrong.
From Ms Hina Tabassum
No emotional connect
I am sorry to say but now I have spent almost a decade in the Gulf countries and I have seen that mothers in this part of the world seem to be not too involved with their children. Mothers are working or busy with other daily chores of life, because of which they leave their children with maids and servants to grow up. Parents need to care for their children from the very beginning. So that children have a strong emotional connect with them.
From Mr Mohammed Abdul Waseem
Culture of rat-race
This happens due to lack of communication between parents and children. Competitiveness in everything in the current society is the major reason behind such mishaps. Directly or indirectly parents pressurise their children a bit too much because of which they start feeling incapable and lose their confidence. They feel that they cannot fulfil what their parents expect from them. The result of this is very sad and it cannot be undone. We as parents should at least try to understand what is going on in our child’s life via communicating with them, keeping track of their studies and regularly catching up with their teachers. A discussion on even small issues can solve major problems. If children want to discuss even a tiny thing, parents and teachers should never ignore them. They are children and they don’t know certain things, it is your duty to answer all their questions. Something that might be small for you can be very big for them. I am really shocked with the increase in number of student suicides. May God give all parents the strength to understand the minds of their children, before something bad happens.
From Mr Kamal Angurala
Against the will of God
Beyond education, I think parents need to first sit and educate children about the fact that suicide is against their religion. It is a sin. Parents should teach children about how to live their lives and be an understanding friend to them.
From Mr Abdul Rahman Javid
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Who can help?
I think there should be more responsible reporting. Such stories may encourage others who are undergoing similar problems to consider suicide as a solution. Please list resources on where people having suicidal feelings/thoughts can turn to for help at the beginning or end of such articles.
From Ms Reema Baniabbasi
Editor’s Note: Gulf News welcomes all feedback, it helps us stay accurate and relevant. The reader is right in pointing out that we should have published help resources with the report. Nevertheless, this information is available on our website and in a number of other reports previously carried. However, we take cognisance of this for future reference.
Extremely sad! I send my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. May be there was another reason behind this, not just studies. I think something was bothering the boy and he didn’t share it with his parents. I can only convey a message to the young generation to have courage to face whatever comes. Nothing is the end of the world. There is always a way out. Please don’t give up. Life is too precious. If you can’t solve it today, you will solve it later, time has many solutions. Whatever has happened cannot be undone.
From Ms Anjali B Ramchandani
Academics is not a priority
I request parents to spend more time with their children, especially mothers, as it is their prime responsibility to give them a good upbringing and teach them the basic values of life. Academic success is the most over rated thing not just amongst children, but also amongst parents. Parents often just focus on education and forget to nurture their children. I pray to God to help this family during this difficult time and help them overcome their loss.
From Ms Sadiqa Alam
I have first-hand experience about the same. My son suffered too because of an abusive teacher who taught him in grade 11 and 12. The school refused to listen to our complaints. His yelling and screaming drove shivers down the spine of my boys.
From Ms Hemlata Chaudhari
Before teaching the laws and formulae of the subjects, its us parents’ who should teach our precious children the most important law of life, which is that ‘for any problem there are a number of solutions’.
From Mr Bindu J Babu
Disturbing and suffocating! As a parent I would like to know what went wrong with him. Reading about him makes me feel he was just a teenager. Why would he do thsi? I think all mothers who read this report will want an answer to this. What went wrong?
From Ms Amber Zahra Ali
Rest in peace! We don’t know why he killed himself. Was it related to school, family issues or depression caused from many other things? School exams and lessons can be hard but may not be the reason for this. As his father said no one knows what was going on in his mind.
From Ms Sharlene L Smith Cardozo
Even adults are isolated
Even if the parents are like friends with their children, sometimes it is difficult to analyse what goes on in their mind. We keep blaming the parent and the school. But the lack of communication between the child and the parent is reducing. I think the gap is wider amongst the expatriate families in the UAE. Not only children but even adults are loners and lost. People might be sitting in a crowd and have a happening image on social networking websites, but this same technology is what keeps them invisible and makes them lonely.
From Mr Seema Singh
It’s true that the fast pace of today’s world and the tough competition is pressurising everyone from kindergarteners to postgraduates in terms of exam results. Troubled souls really feel suicide is eternal escape, but what about the questions God will ask them?
From Mr Fawzia Kasim
Stop being greedy
Very sad, indeed, as with sub-continent families, we parents always want more from the child and often dictate our terms and conditions on studies. We don’t want to know the interests of the child. I also blame the pressure of our curriculum as if we want each and every child to be a genius. It is good to be strict, but we should also learn to let go of things in the way a child wants sometimes.
From Mr Zeeshan Ali
Strike a balance
This tragic incident is not the first and unfortunately won’t be the last. Ironically, no matter what excuses parents come up with, the hard fact is that parents are partly guilty of driving children to this extent with the aim of having a good career. Competitive society and peer pressure should not be the yardstick for parents, they need to strike a balance in their’s and their children’s lives.
From Mr Hyder Jaffer
Small efforts every day
Today’s world is quite competitive, but it is achievable if little effort is taken every day; only studies and television will take students to go any extreme in their thoughts. Students have to step outside, especially on to play grounds for some sports and extra-curricular activities. Since every Indian expatriate family has one or two children on average, the children are often pampered which is why parents are more attached and persistent about a good future. Also schools must encourage children in other activities beyond studies, as school picnics, overnight camps and other fun acivities groom them for independence and prepare them to face life.
From Mr Mansoor
Here is a tragedy in a well educated and well adjusted family, where there seemed to be no apparent reason for the youngster to resort to such a drastic measure. This is scary. The next time a parent would have to think a thousand times before admonishing a child, as it would conjure up thoughts of a troubled and self-pitying child and parents would hold themselves guilty despite their best intentions of disciplining the offspring. Sad!
From Ms Divya Sachdeva
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