In a unique initiative, Andhra Pradesh's Board of Intermediate Education (BIE) has issued guidelines to decrease stress on students in Junior Colleges, and prevent suicides across the state.
The guidelines were issued based on the findings of a two-member committee, consisting of Retired IAS officer D Chakrapani and Ratna Kumari, Former VC of Sri Padmavathi Mahila University.
Stating that the teacher-student ratio should be maintained, and should not exceed the norm prescribed by the Board, the committee report also suggests that work load on the teachers should also be as per norms of the Board.
"A councillor shall be appointed for each corporate college, and the same may be informed to the Board," one of the recommendations read.
The committee also asked educational institutions to develop a mobile application exclusively for students and parents.
"There should be only one test every month in each subject, and parent interaction at the end of 6 months on progress of the students shall be made compulsory," the committee said.
The committee also proposed major changes to ensure that the students do not get stressed out.
"Frequent shifts of students from one section to another based on performance shall be stopped. Display of marks on notice board should be avoided," it said.
Urging institutes to introduce yoga and physical exercise, the committee also recommended that a playground was necessary.
"No instructions before 8am and after 6pm, and focus on personality development of the student should be given utmost importance in all the colleges," the committee said.
Urging colleges to set up a reading room and library, the new guidelines also insist on clean toilets and maintenance of hostels, kitchen, dining etc.
"Adequate space in hostel rooms to have comfortable and hygienic environment, as well as proper disposal of sanitary napkins shall be observed," one guideline states.
Stating that Gram Panchayat officials would visit the campus once a week, it also dictates that a lift should be installed for any building that has more than two floors.
Student suicides are a major problem in the two Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
According to data by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in 2015, one student commits suicide in India every hour.
According to reports, 8,934 students killed themselves in 2015, while a staggering 39,775 students killed themselves in the five years leading up to it.
The number of attempted suicides is likely to be much higher, as many of them go unreported.
The entire list of guidelines can be found here.