» 06/18/2012, 00.00
End of year exams: boom in suicides among Nepalese students
At least ten young people, mostly girls, have taken their lives over the past three days. Among the causes, the excessive pressure of the families that bind their own position in society to the success of their children. In 2012, the number of students who failed exams has risen by 10%. Catholic schools are the exception.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - A boom in suicides among Nepalese students under pressure because of the end of year school exams. In the last three days, 10 young people have taken their lives as a result of not having passed the final exam. Pratikchya Sharma, 15, of Nepalgunj (Mid-Western Region) hanged herself in her room when she learned that she had failed. Like her, another young woman, Sarita Rana, from the district of Palpa, took her own life because she failed the final exam. In a high school of Shree Ram, a student killed himself by ingesting poison when he discovered he had failed the written exam of three subjects. The cases do not apply, however, to the Catholic schools, which are considered the best in the country, where most of the students are accompanied by their teachers during the entire examination period.
Manprasad Wagle, a psychologist, identifies among the causes of the suicides the increase in poverty caused by the political and social crisis in the country. "State schools" - he adds - "also have some responsibility, the pressures on young people are excessive and there is nobody to help them face the examinations with serenity."
The expert explains that in Hindu society the success or failure in education of children is a social discriminatory factor for the whole family. "When one fails an examination" - Wagle says - "he or she is regarded with contempt by friends and family and this makes the young people lose all hope, pushing them to commit suicide." This mainly affects women. Those who manage to get an education will have a better chance of marrying an educated and wealthy man.
The School Leaving Certificate (SLC) is a certificate of diploma which allows the student to make the transition to university. For 2012, there were almost 500,000 candidates, of which about 47% failed the test. The number of failed exams has risen by 10% compared to 2011.
Catholic schools are an exception in the education system of Nepal. Run by the Jesuits, they are considered the best in the country. This year, 100% of their students passed the examinations and there have been no cases of suicide. This is due to the method of teaching that emphasizes the education of the student and his human and spiritual growth rather than mere rote learning.
To date, the Jesuits have three colleges and one university, and 33 schools including primary, secondary and high schools, administered together with the local Catholic communities. In addition to schools, the missionaries have opened several hospitals and clinics; among the more important ones there are the Child Care Centres of Pokhara and Jawalakhel, the Freedom Center, a reahabilitation institute for drug users, in Nakkhipot (Lalitpur, central Nepal) and the Human Development Research Centre in Sanepa (Lalitpur).
Catholic Church in Nepal: anti-conversion laws are unconstitutional
Sections of the new penal code that violate religious freedom translated into English. The purpose is to stir up public opinion to pressure the government. International standards on Civil and Political Rights signed by the authorities after the fall of the Hindu monarchy, violated.
Elevation to Apostolic Vicariate, “pope’s gift to Nepal”
The Catholic community is happy but Hindus and Buddhists have also expressed their appreciation. They see the pope’s decision as a symbol of rediscovered secularism after the former Hindu theocracy.
Christians in Nepal from marginalized to political actors
Protestant and Catholic leaders want more space in institutions in response to political and economic stalemate that has afflicted the country for months. Bishop Sharma in Kathmandu, says: "No leader has displayed a genuine interest in people. It's high time for the Christians in Nepal to engage actively in politics".
No space for Christians and Muslims to bury their dead in Kathmandu
Rapid unplanned urbanisation has led the government to give Hindus land earmarked for Christian, Muslim and Baha’i minorities, groups that do not cremate their dead. This is causing tensions between Hindus and other religious groups.
Hindu community of Nepal against Maoist government
The government headed by Prachanda calls a national procession in an attempt to reconcile with the population. Demonstrations continue after the forced replacement of monks at the Hindu temple in Pashupati. Unrest in the capital among the faithful of the deposed monarch. Solidarity from the Buddhist community, and from India's BJP.
Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future
The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.