The Telangana government on Friday, December 24, announced that all students who failed the first year Intermediate examinations will be given minimum marks and shall be declared as pass. The announcement comes days after as many as six students took their own lives after their failed the examination. The examination results were declared last week and a 49% pass percentage was recorded, with about 51% of the Intermediate students (2020-21 batch) failing to clear the first-year exams in the state. The 2020-21 batch students were provisionally promoted to the second year in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the exams were held in October this year.
On Friday, Telangana Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy said, â€śThe decision has been taken to reduce the stress on students, as they will be appearing for second-year examinations soon. It is unfortunate that the students are blaming the government, neither the Board nor government has committed any mistake.â€ť She added that the goverment is aware of how COVID-19 has affected students and the education field as well.
After students who failed the exam took their own lives, a state-wide agitation had been launched by studentsâ€™ groups across Telangana. The Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE)â€™s decision to not arrange a supplementary exam this year, owing to the tight academic schedule caused by COVID-19, had also enraged the students.
The Board had said that they will only conduct the supplementary exams for those students who failed to clear the exams in April 2022 â€“ which protesting students say is a disastrous decision that could lead to more distress among students, and potentially, suicides.
On December 17, student groups â€“ Students Federation of India and Progressive Democratic Students Union and National Students' Union of India â€“ protested at the TSBIE office in Nampally alleging that the Board failed in conducting evaluation in a fair manner.
The protesting studentsâ€™ groups had demanded that the government consider the internal assignments submitted by the students and give at least passing marks.
Physical classes could be held only for 23 days and were shifted to online mode, which particularly affected the students studying in government colleges, who come from marginalized socio-economic backgrounds without access to resources like mobile phones, internet connection and computers, which are essential for digital education.
If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.
State health department's suicide helpline: 104
Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)
Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930
Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584
Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222
Maithri: 0484 2540530
Chaithram: 0484 2361161
Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.
State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104
Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200
SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 amd and 7 pm)
Aasara offers support to inidviduals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.
24x7 Helpline: 9820466726
Click here for working helplines across India.