CHENNAI: After two long years, life is slowly limping back to a semblance of normalcy. The Covid caseload has reduced and the lockdown curbs have been eased, but most importantly it is that time of the year again, when frantic students offering fervent prayers are seen entering exam centres for the board exams. They finally have a chance to sit for their tests in the offline mode. However, Chennai-based psychiatrists have urged parents and guardians not to exert pressure upon their wards.
Expressing concern over the number of suicides due to the exam fever, psychiatrists have said that there has been a slight increase in the number of students seeking counselling sessions ahead of the exams.
“As the pandemic wreaked havoc upon the students’ study pattern, they got lethargic and uninterested, and were found focusing on various other matters. Also, there were many who thought that the board exams would not be conducted and that they would graduate like the previous batches,” Dr Abhilasha, a consultant psychologist, said.
“When the exam dates were announced, the schools jumped into coaching classes, model exams and admissions. This, suddenly after a period of two dull years, has added to the trauma and anxiety of the students, especially those who want to score well. This could have a huge impact on their long-term mental health,” she added.
“Apart from exams stress, they have other issues including bullying, betrayal, competitions, family crisis because many children also lost their family members during Covid. Hence, they have been unable to focus on their studies,” Dr Abhilasha added.
“Pressurising children will never yield better results, rather it is bound to have a negative impact. They need a lot of emotional support and encouragement rather than their faults being highlighted,” an expert said.
“Students now feel they have lost their ambition because of the education break during the pandemic. So, the doctors have advised children to bring back their focus on the immediate goals. To avoid exam fear, students should take periodical revision tests at homes to avoid stress during exams, said Dr Vasanth R, a senior consultant psychiatrist.