Did 16-year-old Dubai school student AS, who is believed to have committed suicide in Sharjah, leave a secret suicide note in his chemistry answer paper?
As the death of the resident of Sharjah is being linked to pressure he felt ahead of his Indian-board CBSE exams here in the UAE, the focus is clearly on the pressure students are feeling when faced with such exams.
According to family sources, the school authorities while probing what may have gone wrong with the teen have come across a strange note in one of his answer papers.
“Life is getting bored and illusionary”, the boy is believed to have written in his Chemistry paper on February 25, 2014.
“The Chemistry ‘note’ gives a clear indication that the boy was stressed. Five days later, on the day of his Maths exam he took the drastic step,” says the family source, who claims to have seen the answer sheet.
The school the boy went to has not yet responded to Emirates 24|7 queries.
However, the school lists eight counselors with their phone numbers and has just improved its overall KHDA rating.
There is also provision for a shadow teacher to help distressed students.
Friends and well-wishers have thronged the family’s home and the embalming centre in Sonapur, before the body was sent to India for the last rites, which was to take place on Tuesday.
An artist, no more
According to family sources the boy was a painter of some promise and his paintings adorn the family’s two-bedroom apartment’s drawing room.
“His father is a well-known artist and author who has authored two books in Malayalam. The boy used to help the father in his artistic endeavours,” the source says.
Dr Salam Omasshery, an Indian psychologist who handles family counseling and classes here and in India said: “Normally, student and youth suicides are the final exploration of psychological problems that they face due to stress.
“Such stress is expressed through their body language and strange behaviour, writings and even paintings and drawings.
“In this case, the boy alerted his teachers about his plans to commit suicide by writing a suicide note in the Chemistry examination paper. If somebody spoke to him, the suicide could have been avoided.”
Dr Omasshery gives the example of a student in India who wrote a suicide note four pages long in one of his school examinations.
Dr Omasshery says teachers and parents need to be alert about such symptoms.
The case has raised a storm on social networking site, with a big debate on the excessive burden current Indian board school curriculums put on students.
“Another victim of exam stress,” wrote one family friend on Facebook.
Click to read: Indian student found dead on CBSE exam day