THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While the General Education Department gears up to implement the ‘Safe sound’ project, aimed at preventing sound pollution, in government and aided schools, its project to help school students combat examination stress remains on paper.
The department had proposed the project to establish stress relief centres on campuses under the aegis of the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) from this academic year. Sources said the project could not take off owing to SSA’s apathy. However, government officials said the project would be implemented from November.
Last year, the department had prepared to introduce an integrated mechanism in government schools to address stress in students. As per the proposal, the students would be engaged in extra-curricular activities and given guidance, without depending overly on the textbook curriculum.
“The government failed to implement the project. It is a perfect example of officers’ apathy,” alleged O Shoukathali, general secretary, Kerala Higher Secondary Teachers’ Union. “Schools have career guidance and counselling centres. However, a stress relief centre was a novel initiative,” he said.
According to experts, secondary and higher secondary students experience a wide range of stressors related to academic demands. “Previous research indicates that study-related stress can reduce academic achievement, demotivate students and increase risks of dropping out. Stress also precipitates the development of more serious mental health issues such as anxiety and depression,” they said.
Though the SSA and Kerala Infrastructure and Technology Education (KITE) had earlier proposed ‘behavioural pattern intervention among students’ which included a comprehensive system for their mental growth, nothing happened.
‘Didn’t scrap it’
A P Kuttykrishnan, SSA state project director, told TNIE that the government had not scrapped the project and that it will be implemented in all schools from November.
“We have not scrapped the project. Its modules are being prepared. We hope to implement it in November. Our aim is to build students’ self-capacity. As part of stress relief, filmmaking and theatre camp are also included in the module so that students who like them can get involved,” Kuttykrishnan said.