Anxiety in the Ivory Tower

Subtitles Listening and Translation: Lexixi Jubilee | Subtitles PR: yyshere | Subtitles: Walking in the Rain | Comment: Tang0426 | Comment PR: Wenming Ming | Comment Translation: Marialu | Translation PR: Thomas H | Page: Xiao June

In the early morning of April 21, 2021, a student committed suicide as he jumped off from a building on the campus of the “Central South University” in Changsha, China.

It is reported that the student was completing a post-graduate degree and had excellent academic performance. The reason behind the suicide was that he discovered some issues when he was self-examining a scientific paper that he published on an international journal, which caused him to be extremely worried as he failed to retract his paper. He then became very anxious, and after many days of ups and downs, he eventually took the road of no return.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a statistical survey in early years: as many as 25.4% of college students in China had some forms of mental illnesses such as anxiety, neurasthenia, obsessive-compulsive symptoms and depression. The survey conducted by the Special Committee of the College Students’ Psychological Counselling of the Chinese Mental Health Association also shows that more than 50% of college graduates have some forms of psychological or mental problems.

College students are supposed to be most carefree group, who are not burdened by fame and fortune. However, under the influence of the examination-oriented education system and the commercialization of education in China, colleges and universities have produced a large number of graduates with excellent grades and mental illnesses. Youthful students tend to be emotional. Although some universities have psychological counselling departments, they are often a mere formality and do not have proper counselling mechanism to prevent students from exhibiting extreme behaviors.

Schools are places to preach wisdom, pass on professional knowledge, and resolve doubts or problems. But in Communist China, apart from a lot of exam-oriented education and CCP’s cultural propaganda, are schools really the places for these? Are the “respect for heaven and earth, love for parents, love for others, and love for ourselves” taught in the classrooms?

We don’t know whether the student ever thought of his parents, who had worked so hard to bring him up, before he committed suicide. But what we do know is that ever since the Chinese Communist regime started treating education as an industry or business, the ivory tower has stopped existing, and the schools, colleges or universities have never been peaceful, quiet and suitable for learning again.

Isn’t it an opportunistic move to put his dean and tutor’s names on his paper? And later on, due to the problems with his paper, he started becoming afraid that the fame of his dean and his tutor would be affected, which added to his mental stress. It is true that the deceased is gone forever, but we can only hope that he would rest in peace! Nevertheless, we have to remember that it was not only his character, but the rigid and unloving education system of Communist China that ultimately led to his death.

Edited by:【Himalaya London Club UK】

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