BENGALURU: The period between March and June is crucial for lakhs of students of Class 10 and PUC II who will be facing board examinations and also for many who will write competitive exams for entry to higher education courses. It is also the time when they come under immense peer and parental pressure.
According to experts who work with children and in the field of education, during this period, counsellors come across numerous cases of students dealing with examination stress, which is acute in some cases.
Dr Bharati Singh, CEO of NGO Samudra, which works with children, and a counsellor herself, said, “Our helpline gets calls from students and parents seeking tips on managing exam stress. It has become difficult for children to deal with the stress as they are forced to compete with everyone.”
Typical cases include children from across the state seeking tips on time management and memory enhancement while parents too seek advice on how to keep their children away from phones and TV. “Some children have a habit of studying at the last moment and they are the ones who suffer from stress. Along with advising children, we advise parents not to put too much pressure on kids,” she explained.
Having done with writing the exams, however, does not ease the stress for students. Most of the boards and competitive examination results are declared by May-end or early June. “This period is as important as the exam season for parents to take care of their children. Those who have fear of not having performed well may have a tendency to commit suicide. Such kids need to be monitored. Parents must prepare them to accept and face failure instead of putting pressure on them,” she said.
Anupama, a counsellor at one of the top schools in the city said, “Many parents bring their children to me seeking tips. Most of them want to know how to keep their children awake at night and how to wake them up early in the morning. What really hurts me is that many parents try to literally isolate the children, which affect them badly.”
Yashaswini, a PU II science student, said, “I am confused whether to prepare for PUC or NEET. As NEET is more competitive and tougher, I have to prepare for both. I regret choosing Science as I can’t cope with the pressure.”
Bhoomika, another student, said, “I stay in a hostel. It irritates me when they repeatedly make calls to check if I am studying. I just want to be done with this course and I have decided not to take up professional course as I can’t take this pressure anymore. I too want to enjoy my student days.”
The Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board which conducts SSLC exams and the Pre University Education department have dedicated helplines that are active during exams. Counsellors, subject teachers and department officials attend calls and address issues children face during exams and results.
Some parents, however, are not ready to lower their expectations. “My elder son was among the toppers of his batch in PUC and my younger son is writing the exams this year. Is there anything wrong in expecting him to be among the toppers too?” questioned a parent. Another parent said, “It is not that we are putting pressure, but if they don’t have dedication and make efforts at least in these last few months, our efforts of a lifetime will go waste.”