- Students approached a child rights group asking for help
- There is tremendous competition, said principal; to review timings
- Students alleged they've to attend classes from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm
''We don't even get enough sleep hours, forget play hours,'' said one of the protesting students. "We want justice," shouted at least 50 students from classes Classes 7 to 10 as they protested at the school's entrance.
The children approached a non-governmental organisation that works for child rights, asking for help to escape their stressful routine.
''We demand action against the school. Parents are also pushing the students. They are getting hardly any sleep after studying 13 and half hours and again parents are sending them to tuitions and at tuition centres masters are not allowing them to do homework and again it is taking two hours to complete homework and sleeping at twelve in the midnight and and waking up before 5 am every day,'' child rights activist Achyuta Rao said.
''It is this type of stress that is pushing students to suicide,'' he said.
Hyderabad-based child rights group Balala Hakkula Sangham brought this to the notice of the Collector of Ranga Reddy district seeking action against the school, which has 800 students and 40 staff members.
Seemingly justifying the long hours the students spend in their classrooms, the school's principal Narsimharaju said,"There is tremendous competition and therefore we are having to stretch teachers also to get results." He said after the protest, the school would hold meetings with parents and teachers to decide on new timings, to ensure children are not stressed out.
Activists point out that these are tell-tale signs of what pushes youngsters to take extreme steps like suicide. At least 60 student suicides have been reported in Telangana in the last three months alone. Last month, the Telangana government had met management officials and teachers of junior college in the state to formulate dos and don'ts to regulate the number of hours of study and ease the pressure of scoring high.
According to new rules that have been introduced in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, junior college students cannot be made to attend classes for more than eight hours and explicitly ban teachers from verbal or physical assaulting students. It also requires them to keep trained counsellors at hand to guide students.