Six-time failure: Dejected varsity student commits suicide
LAHORE: A student of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore has committed suicide after he flunked courses several times.
The student’s family and friends have started blaming teachers and varsity for his fatal step.
Arslan Khan, a student of the Department of Electrical Engineering, took his own life by shooting himself in the head in Quetta on Friday.
He belonged to the 2009 batch and was constantly failing for the past six years, although he had received a scholarship from Balochistan to study at UET.
In the wake of his death, the university has constituted a committee to look into the matter.
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The family and friends of Arslan now blame the university teachers and administration for not providing guidance to him and say that it was the system making sure that students were at a disadvantage.
According to the sources close to him, Arslan came to UET a few weeks late, because of the lengthy procedure of scholarship by the government, which led him failing in a few subjects in the first semester.
The cycle of failing subjects continued as he had to juggle new courses and retake failed courses. Additionally, according to other students and his friends, the department also had the policy of changing syllabus every semester, which led to an extra burden on Arslan.
Arsalan’s father Bashir Ahmed said that his son was very polite, humble and intelligent, “It was not his fault that he joined late, but teachers made sure he was punished for it.”
He went on to say, “Eventually, Arslan passed all subjects but it was made sure that he would not be awarded a degree by UET.”
Bashir said when his son returned from Lahore, he was very depressed and used to spend all day in his room alone. “We tried to take his mind off from his studies, but he was very depressed by all that had happened to him.”
A childhood friend and a student of the UET, Waleed Raza, said that suicides are becoming a common occurrence at UET as during his time at the university several cases of suicide or attempted suicides have occurred.
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He said Arslan had managed to get 1.98 CGPA only 0.02 short of the required 2.00 after six years of hard work. “Why was it not possible to give him a few extra marks?” asked Raza.
He said, “A few teachers at UET have made it their duty to make life tough for students, especially at the Electrical Engineering department. Discrimination is also a big part of the problem at UET.”
When contacted, UET Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid said that the varsity has constituted a committee of senior professors to look into the reasons of the suicide.
On the accusations levelled against the varsity’s teachers, he said, “I will be able to comment on the matter after the committee submits its report.”
A senior teacher at the Department of Electrical Engineering, who used to be the teacher of Arslan, Dr Suhail Qurashi blamed the lack of counseling for students and the system that changed subjects and made it hard for students.
Director of the Institute of Applied Psychology at Punjab University Prof Dr Rukhsana Kausar while commenting on the suicide case said that in such cases a lot of variables had a role. “Students are vulnerable because of all the pressure put on them by the society, parents, peers, teachers and themselves.”
She is of the view that a system of academic guidance for vulnerable student should be made.
“Our society has become very competitive, which means that the pressure to succeed has increased on students. The frustration is higher at top institutes where the students feel this pressure more,” Kausar said.