Updated: Mar 6
Imagine being a mango farmer. You work hard the entire year to produce 1 ton of mangoes. In the market, there is another seller who has more than 1 ton of mangoes. Therefore, all your mangoes are worthless. You wasted so much time and effort to finally watch all your mangoes rot. Your produce is worthless because someone else has produced more. He gets to sell his mangoes exclusively. You are told to work harder and return next year with hopefully more produce than most others. Would you participate in such a market? This is exactly how college entrance tests work in India.
Millions vie for limited positions. Thus, majority must return home depressed or dead. Their success is not directly correlated with their effort. What matters is how well they do relative to others on the day of the test. Even if they did good, they would get nothing if others did better. Just like the farmer above, a year's worth of effort and a ton of mangoes would suddenly become worthless.
Student suicide and youth depression are not accidents. The system is designed to produce these outcomes. I first noted the mango problem when I was in high school. The system looked absolutely foolish to me. Had I participated in it, I would have either been one of the few thousand winners or one of the rest. Majority of students were destined to be depressed, dead, or both. In either case, I did not want to partake in systemic misery.
The system does not allow students to be in control of their destiny. You don't know where the finish line is, because it depends on how fast others are (imagine running such a race). There is no way to gauge your progress, because the benchmark for success is not objective. Thus, you have no control over where you are going and what will happen. Everything depends on what happens on the day or rather during those few hours. If you don't make it, you waste a year of your life in just a few hours. No, it doesn't give you an advantage next year, because others can also study for one year. In fact, some might be in the market for far longer than you have been, against whom you have a disadvantage. You up your effort. So do others, canceling everyone's effort. Everyone becomes progressively more frustrated. This is systemic misery. You can't do anything about it. How is anyone supposed to be sane under such circumstances? Lack of control and all this insanity are bound to give youth excruciating episodes of depression and anxiety. If they don't want to be the above mango farmer, they must also not participate in modern education.
Finally, we are prepping people for a life of dependency and poverty. For 12 -16 years, they learn how to be employees when we already know that employees are in oversupply. This only creates more wage competition and economic dependency. Thus, many are predestined (by the education system) to be poor. They are bound to one day understand (hopefully) that a life of wage slavery does not work. But it will not help them if they are already broke, homeless, or both. They should have been prepared for independence in school. They were prepared for slavery, however.