Mental Stress & Nervous Breakdown of Children: A General Phenomenon

Scenario 1. Munia is a student of Class 1 in a reputed school in Dhaka. She comes from school at 2, takes a bath, finishes her lunch then her mother sits with her to complete her home works. Her music teacher comes at 5 and she learns music for more than an hour. She watches TV for sometimes then has her dinner. After that her mother sits with her again and she finishes her remaining home tasks. She studies bangla, english, maths, social science totaling 11-12 subjects. She wakes up at 6 and goes to school. She doesn’t have any time to play or to take rest. She is 5 years old.

Scenario 2. Abir is going to take part in the admission test of a reputed school of Dhaka in Class 1, but he is so nervous and scared standing in the middle of thousands of people around him, and he doesn’t know where he has to go inside the building and what is going to happen next, he is crying continuously. His parents are trying to make him stop crying but what they don’t realize is that its not so easy for a 4 year old.

Scenario 3. There are some patients waiting inside National Institute of Mental Health, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka. Amena Begum is waiting there with her 12 year old son Tuhin. "He stood 1st in class 1, 2, 3, 4 consecutively, but he stood 2nd in class 5 and then his not doing well as usual, and he is getting mentally weak day by day and vomits when he feels pressure, doctor said that there are some problems in his brain after examining city scan report." “I used to give him lots of pressure for his study and I never thought this would happen" she says.

Scenario 4. Abdullah is reading at primary level of a school, his teachers beat him almost everyday, and he is so scared of school, it's a nightmare for him, every time he comes out of the school gate, he wishes he would never come back here again.

All those scenarios are very common for the children living in Dhaka and other important cities in Bangladesh, the overall situation is so severe, it has become a general phenomenon of the city culture. Not only in Bangladesh but around the world children face pressure, threat, physical and mental torture from parents and teachers. In Bangladesh having more than 160 million people with few good schools in cities, chance of getting a free fearless childhood has become more and more tough. There is no space for playing, families are living in high rise apartments and children are living there a prison life.

Traditionally Bangali parents are fascinated with better and higher education and when a child is born the parents think he or she will be either an engineer or a doctor. Guardians are always tensed and worried about the future of their kids and they are desperate for their bright career. When their kids become 4 or 5 they desperately search for good schools. It’s a very common scene in the streets of Dhaka kids going with a school bag bigger than his size and full of books and exercise books, sometimes it’s so heavy that they can’t carry it so their moms or dads carry the bag. Parents generally perceive that schools having huge syllabus and lots of text books included are good for kids. kids are overloaded with books and exams, they don’t get any time for play or doing childish things, they are supposed to act like grown up people. The purpose of the initiation of kindergarten education was to create an environment where kids will learn through playing. But here kindergarten schools are just making education difficult for kids and they hardly follow the principles.

Unfortunately, quality education in Bangladesh is still an opportunity, not a basic human right, it’s more apparent for higher education; a good number of students are not getting chance for higher education in the good or even average quality universities. And kids from their childhood are hurdling to become one of those few lucky people. the formal learning process of a child starts from age 4 or 5 and when a kid enters the school compound, its the duty of the school to give him inputs, but in Bangladesh children around the country arrives at admission test "war" in different schools at the very entry level of education, they had to know lots of things about many things to get chance for a seat, the less they know the less is the chance of getting admitted, so their parents and admission coaching centres teach them almost everything which even a graduate doesn’t know . All these happen before they enter their formal education life. In America and Europe it’s unthinkable. If a kid knows everything before he goes to school, then what school would teach him, but here schools don’t care about anything. It’s again a chance to get education among millions of people in Bangladesh.

We talked about the overall situation so far, and their effects are huge. Children who live in such kind of environment get more and more stressed and mental growth is hampered immensely. According to the psychologists, in this educational system children may show some prompt charisma in short run but in the long run their creative ability decreases. Children lose confidence on themselves soon and suicidal tendency increases. Sometimes it creates so much pressure which causes nervous breakdown and results in permanent neural damage inside the brain.

At the end, its my earnest request to the parents, please don’t impose your dreams upon your children, don't be so rude to your kids, give them some space, give them back their childhood, let them be childish, let them make their own dreams, try to give some meaning to their life, so that they can grow up like a human.

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Comments 16 comments

Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 6 years ago

Interesting article.

Questions. Do all the children get to go to school in your country ? If they don't get into better school, will they enrol in other less-priviledged school ? Is attending school compulsory ?

How about job opportunity after they graduate ? What is the un-employment rate there right now ?

Naim Hasan profile image

Naim Hasan 6 years ago from Dhaka Author

thanks Ingenira for your comment.

the rate of literacy and education both increased proportionately in the last few decades, and the number of school going children also have increased. here the gov. has made education for girls upto degree level free, more and more new schools have been set up, the number and rate both are increasing but the problem is in some where else. If education is a basic human right, then it should be quality education. without quality education is meaningless. but a country where more than 160 million people live, its hard to maintain the quality of anything. though the literacy rate has increased, many people cant reach the final level of education, and they remain semi-educated. and the graduates who aren't getting quality education struggle later.

the situation of urban and rural area is not same, in urban area children are overloaded by books and exams, whereas in the villages students do not get good teachers and books, though the gov. made books and other things free upto the primary level.(for boys & girls). without good teachers u wont get good education. and in a city like dhaka there are enough schools but very few of them are so called good schools who know how to tourcher kids well and there are some chance that the kids will be a doc. or engineer if they can study there lol . and school areas are loaded by coaching centres and school teachers earn extra money by opening batches in their house lol. if they don't get a chance to those few school, yeah of course they have to take shelter in less reputed schools but they always feel guilty for not getting chance in big schools and their parents humiliate them. very recently lottery system for admission have been introduced but here we have so many kids and few good schools, its the kids who are always in the losing side.

job opportunities for graduates are not much here, so many graduates enter the market every year, nothing is under control, you need some strong links to get a job for sure even if you got the best certificate. unemployment rate is not low, but we are always trying to do something anyhow lol.

and thanks again for your questions.

Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 6 years ago

I think you should write another hub on this topic. It is a really interesting issue for many people.

About job opportunities, are you saying that there are not much job opportunity for graduates, but lots of jobs for unskilled workers ?

Naim Hasan profile image

Naim Hasan 6 years ago from Dhaka Author

thanks ingenira for your interest on the topic. actually i myself was a kindergarten kid lol. and i know how much they are struggling. and the situation is getting worse day by day, so i felt i should write something on that. i really feel bad for them and i don't see much hope there. in this age of competition parents are getting more furious and desperate, but no holistic approach has been taken either from the gov. or the society to solve this problem.

instead of becoming a blessing, higher education has become a curse for many here. its hard for a man who has been with books for years to do factory works but unfortunately there are very few scope for him to get a job which fits his education. Europe, America and Asia pacific countries are demanding more and more semi skilled/unskilled workers which is more or less related to mechanical skills but less opportunities for graduates.

CarolineVABC profile image

CarolineVABC 6 years ago from Castaic

Hello Naim Hasan!

Thank you for sharing this thought-provoking article! I had no idea that children are very stressed (both at school and at home) in Bangladesh! Although I would say that I am not surprised due to the fact that children here in United States also go through a lot of stress in our schools. Many children between 3 and 5 years old attend preschool, but regardless whether they are ready to be in kindergarten by the age of five, they need to move up to kindergarten. So, let's say the child at the age of 5 still cannot write his/her name all that well and does not know all of their alphabet, due to their age, they still need to move up to kindergarten. Having said that, some children are being brought back to preschool because of lack of knowledge to be in kindergarten. What some of the preschool teachers do is give a note to the kindergarten teacher what to expect from such a child, so they are not surprised and would know how to deal with the situation. Kindergarteners have homework that are sometimes a bit complicated and when the children's older siblings, sometimes even their own parents, cannot fathom what to do with their homework! As their grade level increases in school, their amount of homework increases. Many schools in United States offer Individual Education Program (IEP), which can be from Special Educational Services (physically and mentally challenged children) to gifted students. Children who are under Special Educational Services have teachers and aides to help them out and depending on the severity of the situation, sometimes students have a one-on-one teacher's aide who works alongside by side with the child. Now, let's go to the other end of the spectrum-the gifted students. Gifted students are placed in more advanced classes depending on their STAR testing results (nationwide testing which includes Math/Science/English/History) as well as their class performance. Starting from fourth grade, students are placed in more advanced classes and therefore, they have a lot more homework and more often than not, their classes are accelerated, which means they move a lot faster than the "average" class. Once they enter middle school, if they are placed in the advanced classes, there will be a lot more homework and this goes up to high school. It is no wonder with all of the time that children need to devote doing their homework, being involved with extra curricular activites, children have less and less time to spend time with their families. Sometimes, children don't even have time to attend extra curricular activities or things that they enjoy doing because they have so much homework that needs to be done right away as well as projects that they need to do in between those times. It is no wonder why so many of our children are very stressed these days because of the high expectations that are being placed on them both by teachers and parents for them to be competitive and when they get older, find a decent and rewarding career. Please, don't get me wrong. I'm certain that I speak in behalf of all parents and teachers out there that they all mean well and they want the best education for our children. However, I'm not sure whether we are going in the right direction with this due to the fact that children are very stressed out, which makes them hate school and sometimes, having suicidal thoughts, which are detrimental to their mental health. I do agree with you that we need to find the "right balance" in everything. We need to let our children be. Let them enjoy their childhood more-play with their friends, be with their families more and parents should not impose their childhood frustrations on their children. We need to support good and rewarding education for our children, volunteer once in a while in their schools, contact teachers (these days "e-mail" contact is best) to see how our children are doing in their classes and ask for teachers' input on how to improve our children's grades as well as their behavior (if need be) in school. Teachers and parents need to work well together for the benefit of our children, for them to get the best education and be the best that they can be in the future. Having said that, I believe that children need to decide which career they want to get into when they get older. My son who is 14-years-old and a freshman in high school (9th grade) is a great artist and wants to become an animator someday. We (my husband and I) support his goal, but if he changes his mind in the future, we will leave that entirely up to him. Parents, I believe, are the first teachers of their children and we need to be there to support and encourage them to do well in school and be the best that they can be without putting so much demands on them. In other words, we need to find the "right balance," which sometimes can be very challenging these days because of higher expectations that are being placed on them with the current educational system.

From what I can see in your situation with the children in Bangladesh, they also face many stress and struggles, when it comes to education. I guess, it is becoming a worldwide issue, which I believe need to be addressed, somehow. Thank you for sharing this amazing hub-I've learnt a lot from it. Keep writing. God bless!

Naim Hasan profile image

Naim Hasan 6 years ago from Dhaka Author

Thanks Caroline for your kind opinion. what i felt after reading your comment is the education system there is more comprehensive and complex though it resembles the system here to some extent. but i guess your system is trying to produce mini Einsteins or Hawkings in mass scale lol, and here our schools and parents are also determined to win the race. but there you have got enough schools and colleges whereas here we don't have enogh good schools for our kids. so they become victim of pressure and stress even before their education life starts due to admission test war as i mentioned earlier. and here even in 2011 parents even in their nightmares cant think that their kids will be an animator lol. its either a doc. or an engineer, and every child here is born as any of those two lol. though eventually very few of them reach their by born destiny, others get heartbroken. i don't know where is the end of it but what we can do just hope for a better future. Thank you for visiting my hub.

CarolineVABC profile image

CarolineVABC 6 years ago from Castaic

Hello Naim,

Thank you for reading my "lengthy" reply!!!:-) I appreciate your feedback on it. I understand that there are not enough schools for all of the kids out there in Bangladesh, which makes up for more stress and pressure for the kids and their families. True, kids here have more options to be what they want to be than over there, and I think we are pretty lucky when it comes to that:-). I definitely agree with you that we all want and hope a better future for our children. It was a pleasure to have read your hub!:-)

neharika 5 years ago

hey everyone

i wanna discuss my cousins problem

actually he is physically and mentally right but have problems in studies and his behaviour is also sometimes diff.

He considers study a burden from starting.. he is 18.. now its about his carrier.. he is not able to concenrate and learn ..he lives in hostel..and so has home sickness too.. but then also when he come back to home on holidays.. he sits on laptop wholetime..what to do....can anyone help..

Naim Hasan profile image

Naim Hasan 5 years ago from Dhaka Author

Thanks neharika for your feedback. 1st we should consider that not all are alike, physiological setup varies from person to person. I am not an expert in this field, but my humble suggestion is- try to identify what he likes to do, what he likes to think, and his talents toward any particular matter. may be he doesn't like to be alone, and he has got friends over the internet. Always remember that the shoe we buy isn't made specially for us, we just buy the pair that fits, but its not true for all, sometimes we need to order special shoes. just try to read his mind and don't impose general things upon him, i hope he will do good if he gets proper support from his family.

Sufferer 5 years ago

This country is ruined by the politicians and the torture will carry on forever. The parents are tortured by the inflation, no scope of good entertainment, corporate politics, sick social environment, etc etc. They want their kids to be the best and they run after that blindly. The problem is not in them. It's the politicians / govt who don't want good change in the society. Instead, they come up with evil solutions like dish culture and gets praised by us!! We all need to open our eyes and act immediately. I doubt it's going to work though!!!

paddy 5 years ago

i am being mentally tortured by my parents......

my elder brother hits me every once in a month and my parents do nothing about that....

last day my father hit me just because i drank wine which was gifted to him by his friend....

i have to ask permission to watch tv every time cos my younger brother watches it all the time....

my mum beats me if i do anythng to increase her work like if i spilt some ketchup on the floor....

i am 17 years old...

can you suggest me what should i do??? or what can i do????

Amanisha 5 years ago

Thank you Naim for such a useful article.

I am Bangaldeshi too. I can see that many young people are coming up to you for suggestions on their personal problems. As far I know clincial psychologists are working in Dhaka and chittagong. I would suggest them to visit Clinical Psychology Department of Dhaka University to get contact details. Definitely those people will be able to help them a little atleast.

Thanks once again for the hub.

Naim Hasan profile image

Naim Hasan 5 years ago from Dhaka Author

paddy im sorry to hear how your family members have been torturing you. but you didn't mention your country name or where you are from. so its bit difficult for me to get the total picture. i just tell you one thing, be patient and try to live through struggling, always try to live long as we are alive...our hopes are also alive...don't give up...time will make you free one day...

Best of Luck

Naim Hasan profile image

Naim Hasan 5 years ago from Dhaka Author

Thanks Amanisha for visiting my hubs

Shaila 4 years ago

Hi Naim,

It's a good and useful article regarding the education system in Bangladesh. I am doing PhD on the quality of preschool education of BD. I wish to use this article for my study. Would you kindly inform me the details of this article to use as reference? Thanks.

Naim Hasan profile image

Naim Hasan 4 years ago from Dhaka Author

Thanks Shaila for visiting my hub. I have written this hub from my real life experience. I didn't borrow or copy anything from any writers or books or sites, except the pics. So you may use my hub for your research as a primary source. Thanks again for your comment.

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