The Telegraph
Thursday , February 27 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Help for students over phone

Examination blues seem to have hit students who will either appear for Class X or XII CBSE boards that are scheduled to start in a few days. Not only examinees, the parents are also suffering from stress and anxiety.

The 59-odd counsellors roped in by CBSE to impart tele-counselling said suicidal tendency among the examinees was on the rise.

According to the counsellors, 20 of the 50 queries that they receive daily are from Class X and XII students who talk about committing suicide due to exam stress.

Students are dialling up the toll free number — 1800118004 or 1800118002 — to seek assistance every now and then.

Counsellor Rita Singh recounted a call from a tenth grader of a Ranchi-based school who repeatedly mentioned of suicide.

“We advised him that the board exam was not the end of the world. Plan purposefully, proceed positively and pursue persistently were our piece of advice,” said Singh.

Besides, the counsellors are also advising the candidates to go for small walks, swimming or even jogging to keep themselves calm.

Right amount sleep and a proper diet also help maintain the balance.

Apart from tele-counselling, the students are also being asked to watch the two short films, Smile Through Stress and Exam Stress — a natural feeling — learn to deal with it, that the CBSE officials have uploaded on the official website.

The counselling, which started on February 1 and will continue till April 17, uses various modes of communication including telephonic counselling, online counselling and also question and answer columns in newspapers to address student queries. A panel of three counsellors is working shift-wise to offer help to the students from 8am to 10pm every day.

Of the 59 counsellors, as many as 49 are available in India, while 10 are located in Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Japan, UAE and Kuwait.

Students are finding these counselling sessions of immense help.

“This helpline is of great help to us. I have approached the counsellors many a time, as I tend to suffer due to depression. Even though I have prepared my syllabus thoroughly, nervousness and anxiety is taking a toll on my health,” said twelfth grader of DAV Public School-Hehal Rohan Singh.

This is the 17th consecutive year when CBSE is providing psychological counselling services to students at the time of preparation, as well as during the examinations to overcome exam-related stress.

Notably, the CBSE Class X and XII board exams start on March 3 and March 1, respectively.