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Tips for parents of failed examinees

Arpita Kundu (not her real name), a student of a reputed school in south Calcutta, has passed Madhyamik 2005 with a little more than 60 per cent.

After collecting the marksheet, she returned home and slid into depression. Suffering a guilt pang for 'letting her parents down', she now confines herself to her room.

Experts have diagnosed Arpita's mind as unstable, having observed a suicidal trait in her. Her parents have obviously become panicky, especially after learning that five girls have committed suicide for failing in Madhyamik, the results of which were declared on Tuesday.

Worried with rising cases of suicide by students after publication of the results of school-leaving examinations, city-based NGOs and child psychologists are working on plans to educate parents on how to guide their wards in crisis situations.

'It is our earnest appeal to all parents to accept their wards' results as they are,' said Mohit Ranadib, psychiatric counsellor at Mon Foundation, an NGO dealing with exam-related stress problems faced by school students.

'It's a fact that those who commit suicide betray signs of the impending disaster in some way or other. Parents can best monitor the changes in the behaviour of a boy or girl if he or she is not satisfied with the results,' said Ranadib.

NGOs and psychologists are often referred students suffering from various mental health disorders (in box) immediately before and after the results are announced.

'The trend ' result-related suicides' is increasing by the year. Also, complaints regarding examinees suffering from mental disorders because of result-related anxiety are on the rise,' said city-based psychologist Mahua Ghosh.

'Parents must immediately consult doctors if they notice their wards are behaving abnormally around the time the results are announced.'

Apart from committing suicide, according to reports available with psychologists, students disappointed with their performance in examinations often develop a tendency to run away from home. Some even resolve to give up studies.

'Parents must ensure that their children do not feel the exams are a battle. Even failed students should be cheered up. They must be told their failure resulted from certain factors, for which they were not responsible,' advised psychiatrist Bappaditya Dev.

'Parents and teachers must help students realise that failing a particular examination does not ruin their career. They should, instead, focus on faring better the next time,' Dev added.

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