Asadullah Khan, a 17-year-old student, died of brain haemorrhage due to exam stress in Pakistan.
Khan suffered a brain haemorrhage after his ‘mock’ examinations did not go well. The 17-year-old was due to give his Cambridge International O-Levels Examinations in a few months.
A page on Facebook posted the story of Asadullah Khan as a tribute to him. They wrote, “17 years old child, namely Asadullah Khan died due to brain haemorrhage as he was in stress just because his mock didn’t go well, and that’s what led to his condition deteriorating. Don’t push yourselves too hard. Nothing is more precious than your life is. Mocks, CIEs, or any other exam, just give your best and if it’s not enough, then don’t worry!”
The post further added: “Life goes on. Things fall into place. Nobody cares about your grades over your life, nobody. As important as grades may be, they DO NOT define you. One must understand that. I can’t imagine what his parents must be going through. May he rest in peace, and May Allah give his family the strength to deal with this loss.“
Office for National Statistics revealed that school exam pressures and bullying were among the top causes for suicides in people under 20. Exam stress was among the top causes of teen deaths and suicide.
Pressure to do good in the examinations have been built up by society, friends, teachers and even parents. This pressure leads to not only mental and psychological problems in a child, but also has catastrophic physical impacts.
Another research by the University of Manchester‘s National Confidential Inquiry on Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness revealed, that 29 percent of the deaths were due to facing exams or their results. Four students, from the subset of the study, actually die on an exam day or the day after.
Ged Flynn, chief executive of Papyrus, an anti-suicide charity, said, “I think the pressure on young people is increasing. Peer pressure – from family, teachers and friends – has always been there, but it does seem to be increasing.”
In May 2015, a similar case came forward when a 15-year-old, Morgan Falconer, killed himself without any warning to his family.
Falconer spoke to his friends about feeling stressed during his upcoming General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) exams. Morgan’s father, Stuart, said that “It was a consequence of things that built up in his brain, which led him to make a catastrophic decision that couldn’t be turned back. If he’d known what he’d left behind, he wouldn’t have done it. If he’d seen the outpouring of grief at his funeral, he wouldn’t have done it.”
Many young students like Asadullah and Morgan have to face the stress of exams every day. Therefore, charities and organisations are working to provide a support line and personal counsellors to students in order to help them cope with peer pressure.