Mumbai: The Central Board of Secondary Education is offering post result psychological counseling services to parents and students to help them deal with examination-related stress and anxieties. The counseling services are now accessible from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, from May 13 to May 27, 2023.
This service has been provided for the last 25 years and is aimed at helping students overcome common psychological problems related to exams and results.
Keeping in mind the geographical spread and heterogeneity of its students, the Board’s methods of communication include telephonic and online counseling services.
The Free Press Journal consulted experts to gain insight into the reasons why this service has endured for so long and the outcomes it has produced.
There are counselors in every CBSE school all year, but when it comes to availability and accessibility, there is still a significant difference between the number of students and the number of counselors. "We've seen a significant increase in psychological issues among students, with the most common being learning disabilities, ADHD, OCD, domestic abuse, exam anxiety, and others. A single counselor cannot serve a school with thousands of students; CBSE should allocate two to three professional counselors to each school," says Dr. Keerti Sachdeva, Educational Psychologist.
Sanyam Bhardwaj, Controller of Examinations, CBSE, says, "The board has been providing a robust counseling system for over two decades, both before the boards and after the results are declared." Most schools have counselors to help students for the majority of the year, but when students are in the latter phases of their preparation and are studying primarily on their own, the board's guidance to them will have a more meaningful influence." So far, over 5,000 students have benefitted from the counseling services, though the numbers are likely to increase as the exams draw near.
This year, queries revolve mostly around the lack of adequate focus and writing skills, an impact of Covid when exams and classes were mostly conducted online. Students mostly take recourse to tele-counseling during the day. “A few more weeks into the exercise, the figures are going to steadily increase. Principals and counselors of both Indian and international CBSE schools have been deployed to benefit students not just in India but across 26 countries at a time when regular classes are no longer being held,” Bhardwaj informs.
Principal, Seema Kshatriya, Kanakia International School, CBSE, Chembur said, "Together with students, parents also experience an overwhelming amount of stress during board exams. We appreciate the efforts of CBSE in providing support to both students and parents through this initiative, aimed at alleviating the pressure associated with exam results. It is of paramount importance, as the stress faced by parents and students does not cease after the results, but rather intensifies during the college admission process. This endeavor not only aids them in managing their stress but also provides them with an opportunity to openly express the challenges they have encountered or will encounter during the admission procedure."
Madhu Wadke, Principal, of Gopi Birla Memorial School says that Counseling services after board exam results are important to support students in managing their emotions, coping with academic outcomes, making decisions about their future, developing stress management skills, and addressing mental health concerns. It helps students navigate this transitional period and promotes their overall well-being.
Principal, Soma Chatterjee, Podar International School, says the board has also been actively engaging with the students by sharing messages on social media platforms to help them deal with aggression, depression, internet addiction disorder, and examination stress.
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