Exam suicide?: A teenage girl plunges to her death, presumably over scoring low in school test

School graduation and higher school entrance exams in Armenia, always a period of tension and stress for pupils and their parents, have been marred by an incident late last week in which a teenage girl committed suicide soon after learning she’d scored an unsatisfactory mark for Armenian language and literature. There was no case in Armenia in recent memory when a student committed suicide over an unsatisfactory mark in an exam.

Gohar Martirosyan, 17, who studied at Viktor Hambartsumyan Secondary School #12 in Yerevan’s Shengavit community, received 7.5 points (half a point below the lowest satisfactory mark of 8) in the exam on Friday.

Answers to the test were posted at 2 p.m. on the Accreditation and Testing Center’s (ATC) website. At 4 p.m., police were alerted to the girl’s home where it was learned that she had jumped from a seventh-floor balcony. The police probe into the case is ongoing.

Vladimir Stepanyan, headmaster of School # 12, told ArmeniaNow that Martirosyan was “a lively” teenager from a “quite normal family.”

Nelly Duryan, the deputy head of the Police’s 3rd Investigation Department (of Juvenile Affairs) in Armenia, told ArmeniaNow that according to the 2009 data, 28 minors committed suicide in Armenia, mainly because of domestic problems and unrequited love. One suicide case registered last year was on religious grounds.