HYDERABAD: Tips for improving performance, is downloaded hall ticket permissible, career guidance, how to deal with stress before exams, would applying mehndi amount to malpractice, etc., are some the queries that the helpline started by the Directorate of School Education has received in the past three days that it has been operational.Days before the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations were scheduled to commence, the Directorate of School Education had launched a helpline to provide counselling to students undertaking the examinations on various problems like anxiety, stress, examination phobia, career guidance and other emotional issues.
In three days of its existence, it has had 29 callers seeking a help on a variety of issues. Even though the numbers are very small— four calls on 12 March, 10 on 13 March and 15 on 14 March, in-charge counsellor, G Venugopal Reddy, said that the fact that he has had students seeking help for anxiety and exam related fear is an indication that they are on the right path.
Commenting on the number of distressed calls, Reddy said that the number has been increasing daily. “Once exams begin such type of calls will increase further. Students who do not perform well will feel depressed and will need someone to tell them that its alright if their exam was not as per their expectation. The only issue that requires attention is that there is a need to make students aware of this helpline,” said the retired principal of Tribal Welfare School.
It is for this reason that on March 10 when the Director of School Education, G Kishan, issued a circular about the helpline, all Regional Joint Directors, District Education Officer and Mandal Education Officers were also instructed to publicise the helpline. This year 5.38 lakh students are taking the matriculation examination that commences from Thursday in 2,542 centres across the state.While a lot of calls have come seeking information on the legitimacy of downloaded hall ticket, if coloured pens can be used, on how to attach OMR sheet with the answer booklet, there have been calls from students asking how to score better marks in Maths, Chemistry and Telugu.
“A warden from a government residential school for girls called up saying four of the 80 students were suddenly feeling unwell. They were all from the same village and complained of same ailments. I assured her that it was only stress before the exam and told her to make them talk to their parents and not put them under pressure for performing during exams,” said Reddy.Another group of girls enquired if they could be penalised for having applied mehendi. Parent asked if instances of malpractices could be reported. The counsellor said that the helpline was not just aiding the students and teachers but also helping the department to note the kind of queries they have just before the exam and can be included in the guidelines before the examination next year.