Dr Lakshmi Vijayakumar, Founder Trustee of Sneha, a suicide prevention centre, points out that the number of calls increase during exams and more so when results come out. “Last year, we received 50-60 calls per day when the board exam results were announced.”
Prashanthi G, who is writing her Class 12 exams now says, “There is a lot of pressure on us to perform well and there is a lot of competition among the students. I have not been performing well in my Math tests and I am little worried about my results. Though we had counselling sessions by teachers and we were asked to just keep practicing, I kept on worrying about it. Then, I spoke to my teachers and they called my parents to discuss my stress.”
Schools too are doing their best to ensure that the students aren’t stressed. Shivakumar of VOC Vidyalaya Matriculation Higher Secondary School says, “Most of the students writing exams are worried about coming across questions that they are not familiar with. What we do is to give a lot of practice papers to prepare them. Also, while issuing the hall tickets, we talk to each student in detail and give the necessary counselling. We talk to the parents too, if there is a need.”
According to counsellors, many students are worried that they will disappoint their family with bad scores. Dr Jaya M, who works with school students in many government and private schools in the city, says, “Only a few schools ask for professionals to deal with students’ stress. Most of the school students I speak to say that they are worried about their performance not being up to the mark and disappoint their parents.”
Educationists say that most school promoters think of hiring professionals before the exams, but say that it would be ideal to have them round the year. The school management does not realise that neither they nor their teachers are specialists in dealing with children, who may need psychological intervention.