Nervous about results? Call the CBSE helplineMay 20th, 2010 - 12:47 pm ICT by IANS
By Anjali Ojha
New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) It’s that time of the year again when students and parents can be seen nervously waiting for results of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) results. But help is at hand with the board’s helpline working to soothe anxieties and boost students’ confidence.
The CBSE helpline, which resumes Friday when results of the Class 12 board exams are declared, has over the years become a lifeline of sorts for students and parents alike, answering regular queries about board exams and results and even dealing with students who go into depression.
The helpline was started 12 years ago to provide help and guidance to students in distress. It initially began with 15 days’ counselling as a pilot project.
Now it runs in two phases every year — before and during the exams and immediately after the results are declared.
It provides students and parents with free online and telephonic advice on a variety of issues — from exam and result process to psychological help.
CBSE website www.cbse.nic.in has the numbers and other details of the helpline.
With the second phase of the helpline starting Friday, officials expect increased inflow of calls this time.
“The inflow of calls keeps on increasing. We are definitely expecting more calls this time,” Rama Sharma, CBSE spokesperson and one of the pioneers who started the scheme, told IANS.
Educationists volunteer to help students cope with the stress of exams and results.
“We wanted to give a human face to the whole mechanical process of giving exams and getting marks,” Sharma said.
“It was an attempt to re-engineer the thought process of the parents,” she added.
With a master’s degree in psychology, Sharma feels education should be about personality development and not just marks.
“Children should be guided and given an opportunity to develop their strengths. Our counsellors try to make them realise that one exam in not everything in life,” she said.
The system includes a list of exam tips and frequently asked questions (FAQs) posted on the CBSE website.
A special toll-free number accessible from all parts of India was started this year to facilitate the procedure of telephonic counselling.
CBSE presently has nearly 50 counsellors volunteering for counselling.
“We are not focusing on numbers, the quality matters more,” said Sharma, adding that the progress over the years has been satisfactory.
“Today we have school principals, teachers and prominent educationists with us,” she said.
Interestingly, the set-up was started without any big investment as counsellors volunteered their services. “It involved no investment, the only little investment has gone in the call centre we set up this year,” said Sharma.
Besides having the regular queries about exams and results, the counsellors often have to deal with students in depression.
Sangeeta Bhatia, principal of New State Academy School in the national capital, an active counsellor with the helpline, feels their role is to provide an emotional anchor to the students in distress.
“Students are not able to handle the stress of academic expectations due to which they undergo all sorts of mental depressions. They mostly seek emotional support and this is where the counsellors do emotional anchoring,” Bhatia said.
Bhatia said: “The queries are usually on time management, quality and quantity of answer, procedure for re-verification under which only the total recount of marks takes place.”
Asked about the reactions from parents, she said: “In today’s time both parents and students are mature, they just need little guidance.”
Counsellor Vithika Rahul, however, feels differently. “It’s the parents who are more worried about the result than the students. They build pressure on the child and the child gets depressed.”
Prominent educationist and retired deputy director education P.C. Bose said boosting students’ confidence is the main job.
“Once a student who had scored 90 percent said he wanted to give his papers for revaluation as he expected 95 percent,” he said remembering a case.
“You have to tell them that marks are not everything,” he added.
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