CBSE helpline flooded with calls from anxious students

February 23rd, 2009 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) With board exams round the corner, the helplines of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have been flooded with phone calls from anxious students and parents, officials said Monday.
As many as 43 principals, trained counsellors from CBSE affiliated schools, psychologists and social scientists are operating helplines individually from India and overseas since Feb 1. The board exams will start March 2.

“We have received an overwhelming response from students and their parents. Some of the students are really depressed and anxious about board exams and I talk to them for as long as three to five hours till they are satisfied,” said CBSE counsellor Geetanjali Kumar.

The queries of students vary from using a particular type of pen to time management and from subjective problems to behavioural changes.

“Since the helpline started, my phone has not stopped ringing and with just a week left for board exams, I am answering as many as 100 calls a day. Some of the students are routine callers and they call me daily and discuss their problem,” said Kumar, a professional counsellor with several schools in Delhi.

The CBSE has also downloaded a short film “Smile Through Stress” and a document ‘Smile Your Way Through Exams’ on its website.

“The film and document is prepared under the guidance of psychiatrists, counsellors, teachers and doctors in order to help parents and students taking the board exams overcome anxiety and fear,” said CBSE public relation officer Rama Sharma.

Deepa Saini, a psychiatrist who answers queries even past midnight on the CBSE helpline, said: “In the initial conversation I just try to get an idea about the students’ confidence level and counsel them accordingly. Some of the students seem very confident and ask how they can increase their marks while some ask what they should do as they have not studied throughout the year”.

“Parents really play an important role in helping the students coming out of examination jitters. We counsel parents and tell them how they can be supportive,” said Saini.

There are 39 helpline centres in India and four abroad - Kuwait, Dubai, Doha and Sharjah - that are catering round the clock to the queries of students appearing for board exams.

For the first time, CBSE has included special educators to take care of the differently-abled children from centres located at Mumbai and Delhi.

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