Pankaj Kumar Thakur counsels students at Sindri, Dhanbad, on Friday. Picture by Gautam Dey
A Sindri-based youth is helping students conquer the greatest fear of their lives — exams.
Never-ending syllabuses seem less daunting and exams less stressful under the tutelage of 34-year-old Pankaj Kumar Thakur, who has pioneered a unique way of learning to help students remember most of the things they study.
The pre-exam counselling sessions, held under the aegis of Thakur’s trust called The Art of Learning Trust, have managed to shun the fear of exams from the minds of over 100 students of Sindri and surrounding areas so far.
Thakur, who holds a degree in hardware and software engineering from Sikkim Manipal University, said rising cases of depression among students owing to poor show in exams and resultant suicides prompted him to zero in on this unique approach to studies and exams in May 2012.
Since then, he has held counselling sessions in schools at Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat, Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, Ranchi and Dhanbad. This year, classes began at his tutorial centre, Scholar, at Sindri’s Kandra about a week ago.
“Students are unable to handle the exam pressure and get depressed. Their mental state, in turn, causes them to perform poorly during the tests as they can hardly recall things they have learnt. Our counselling session offers them tips to keep the tension at bay,” said Thakur.
Building the concentration level and improving the power to recall through meditation are the other scoring points of the counselling that mainly caters to the age-group of nine to 21 years.
“Our classes are not merely based on theories, but involves practicals also. We make students learn difficult kinds of things during the short span of our session to boost their confidence level. We also train them to establish better co-ordination between mind and hand so that they can write answers in less time. The idea is to try and make the students realise their ability and potential,” said Thakur.
Students agreed that the counselling helped.
Chandan Prasad of Sindri College, who attended the classes, said: “I learnt how to respond quickly. This helped me while answering questions promptly,” he said.
Juhi Kumari, a Class IX student of Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Sindri, said she picked up the art of mental math.