board exams

Writing boards? Don’t stop doing what you enjoy

Jhinuk Mazumdar
Jhinuk Mazumdar
Posted on 16 Feb 2024
06:45 AM
Representational image

Representational image File image

The pressure on children is often intensified by parents who want them to discontinue normal activities because they see those “as a waste of time”, a psychiatrist said

Students should not give up sports, music or other activities they enjoy just because they are writing their board exams, school principals and mental health professionals said.

The pressure on children is often intensified by parents who want them to discontinue normal activities because they see those “as a waste of time”, a psychiatrist said.

Exams go on for a month or more and discontinuing all activities during this period can only intensify the pressure on a student.


On many occasions, as soon as a student steps into a board class, the parents discontinue all activities, a principal said.

“It is unrealistic to expect a child to study 24X7. Children need an outlet. Physical or extracurricular activities release positive chemicals (endorphins) in the body and it helps improve the physical and mental state of a child,” said psychiatrist Sanjay Garg.

Garg said any engaging activity helps to improve the mood of a student and increases their concentration.

Attaching too much importance to academics and the craving to excel in a fiercely competitive world makes many parents discard extracurricular activities, said psychotherapist Farishta Dastur Mukerji.

When a child is in the primary classes, a section of parents puts them in multiple extracurricular activities and want them to excel in all. By the time they are in senior classes, the parents expect the child to detach themselves from all of them and focus on academics alone.

“There is a tendency among some parents to cut their children off from all extracurricular activities. A student must learn to balance multiple activities because that is a life skill. One cannot do something by excluding other things,” said Koeli Dey, principal, Sushila Birla Girls’ School.

“Parents should ensure that during the exam season, the activity that a child does is in a moderate dose and it does not eat into the learning time,” said Dey.

Some schools receive requests from parents asking them to excuse their children from sports in school when they are in Class X or XII.

In one school, the principal had to call the parents of a Class XI student so they allow the boy, keen on sports, to participate in school sports. He was to be the flag bearer because he had been the best sportsman the previous year.

In another school, the parents of a Class X boy did not want their son to participate in sports despite him being a house captain.

“If a student is expected only to study without allocating any time during the day for an activity that they enjoy, it is bound to bring in a sense of fatigue and boredom. Parents create a huge hype around board exams and that only adds to the stress level of a student,” said Satabdi Bhattacharjee, principal, South City International School.

“We tell the parents to allow the child to play for an hour or listen to music or even watch television. The child will return to books with an added focus,” said Bhattacharjee.

On many occasions, it is the stress of the parents that gets passed on to the child.

This happens because parents are detached from their child’s year-long preparations and as the exams approach or during the exams, they dump their stress on the child, said a teacher.

Some parents take leave from work because their child is appearing for the board exams.

“Before the exams, we keep telling children to keep some time to unwind, take a break and indulge in some activity they enjoy,” said Seema Sapru, principal, The Heritage School.

Mental health professionals, however, warn against turning to a device for a

“The use of a gadget can be addictive and a child might find it difficult to regulate its use and go back to studies,” said Dastur Mukerji.

Last updated on 16 Feb 2024
06:45 AM
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