The Damage We’re Doing By Making Board Exams Scary For Students

Posted by Aakanksha Aggarwal in Education, Mental Health
April 29, 2017

Last month, the school board exams were going on for the students of class 10 and class 12. During that time, I happened to visit one person I knew in a city. He had a young son in class 10.

Frankly speaking, I feel that it was my mistake to visit their house during that time of the year. The atmosphere of their house was very dull. There was pin drop silence in the house. Their son was studying in a room that was farthest from where we were sitting. This was done in addition to all the normal things that most of the parents do during school examinations. Their TV was packed for the duration of the kid’s examination. The kid’s mother was on constant duty to provide him food. Whatever he needed was already put in his room or was provided to him if he made one call.

I felt a little scared in the house at that time. The hosts were otherwise very charming. It was probably just the wrong timing.

It was the time of examination, when parents, students, teachers and everybody involved, leave no stone unturned in making this period dreadful.

The Government of India has been doing experiments with the examination system in schools. It is observed that examinations are a cause behind a lot of stress among the students. Along with the students, it is a burden for the parents as well. Well, it is quite obvious since school marks carry a lot of importance in the career of a student and are important for them to succeed in life. If a student has to enter college, the first thing that is asked is the student’s class 12 percentage. Many students fail to get admission as they miss out by only a few percentage points. Many employers consider school marks as the certificate to measure the intelligence of a candidate.

A girl studying before her class 12 boards.

So, How Does It Impact A Student?

Many of the country’s youth are suffering from depression. Many cases still remain unreported due to the social stigma associated with mental health. Many people are depressed since they have had a stressful childhood. It has been observed that students growing up in a strict environment often overthink about their problems and are more prone to depression.

Recently, a young student of a highly prestigious college in Mumbai committed suicide due to several problems in his life. Is not it strange that a young college student finds himself unable to handle the stress?

In fact, students were earlier given an option to not take board exams in class 10. That relieved a lot of stress for many students.

Some of the parents and students themselves think that the examination system should be made stricter so that they can study more, but the examination system needs to be made considering all kinds of students in a class. There are some studious students, however, others are average in their studies. There are some students who need a lot of motivation to study. But, it does not mean that they should not be given a chance to grow and succeed in life.

I believe that the examination system should be made stress-free for the students. Instead of making examination time a nightmare for the students, they should be considered as something very normal. Although studious students can easily adjust with the tough examination system, it can be very hard for the average students.

Some Of The Stress-Related Statistics Among Indian Students:

1. In a survey, 2/3rd of the students said that they were pressurised by their parents to perform better in academics.

2. More than 50% of class 12 students claimed that they went to more than three tuitions outside of their school.

3. Another study claimed that 20% of children had subclinical depression and 30% suffered from mild to moderate depression.

Is it not enough to raise our concern towards the issue and devise the ways through which stress can be handled?

Some Of The Ways That Have Been Suggested To Help The Students To Cope Up With Mental Stress:

1. Association with neuroscience specialists, taking their inputs and utilising it for formulating the curriculum of the school level students. It is highly necessary to understand how much stress the students can handle and at what level it can be risky. This should be associated with scientific interventions.

2. Counselling of students should be done regularly. They should be given career counselling, guidance, advice, as well as psychological and emotional counselling. Involvement of parents in relieving the stress of the students by talking openly and discussing the issues that students face.

3. We need to understand that all students can’t have the same motivation to study but this does not mean that we put mental pressure on them to always score very high in the examinations that they give.

Image source: Saumya Khandelwal/ Hindustan Times via Getty Images