by Kiran Manral
- Exam fever hits not just students but parents, too. Urban parents and students are increasingly making use of exam stress-related helplines to cope.
- The 24-hour helpline operated by the CBSE Board became functional on 1 February 2011 and gets up to 200 calls a day. The state board helpline for SSC and HSC students is set to start taking calls from 25 February 2011 (Hindustan Times, 11 February 2011).
- About 80% of the calls are stress related. The calls are handled by school principals, psychologists and trained counsellors.
- Other helplines such as Aasra, Childline and the Vandrevala Foundation helplines are manned by trained social workers and counsellors. There is an increase in number of calls immediately after exam results are out, too.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- High competition levels and mounting pressure on students to fare well in board exams puts excessive, often unnecessary, stress on them and their parents. The pressure increases after Grade Eight when they face exams for the first time.
- A large number of children are taking to the last resort, suicide, due to this inability to cope with feelings of inadequacy and guilt of having underperformed. At the same time, there is increasing acknowledgement that such students, and parents, need help.