The CBSE has launched its annual counselling programme to help students cope with examination-related stress.
The CBSE has set up a toll-free telephone line to help students deal with examination-related stress and anxiety.
As the countdown for the examinations begin and pressure mounts, students can make use of the toll free helpline 1800 11 7002 to seek advice and help on how to cope with the stressful situations they encounter. ‘General queries' will be answered and callers will be connected to counsellors in case they need psychological counselling.
This is the first time that the CBSE has worked out this kind of an arrangement, though it has been offering its counselling service since 1998. The number is already operational and will be in service till April 8, according to a CBSE release.
The services offered during the examination period are aimed at helping both parents and the students themselves deal with anxiety and examination-related stress. The CBSE outreach programme is offered through various modes of communication—over the telephone, through the media, Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) and online. Those involved in tele-counselling are trained counsellors and principals from among CBSE-affiliated schools located inside and outside India. The service is offered voluntarily and comes free.
This year, 52 principals, trained counsellors from CBSE-affiliated government and private schools, psychologists and social scientists are manning the helplines from 8 a.m to midnight from various places in the country.
Three helpline centres are located outside India. Apart from the toll free number the CBSE has for the first time set up a centralised call system, using which students can get in touch with the counsellors (011-22236110, 011-22236111, 011-22236112, 011-22236113).
From the last year CBSE has also been providing counselling to the differently abled children and the service will continue this year also.
Tele-counselling based on an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) can be accessed through BSNL, Airtel and Reliance networks (BSNL landline and mobile and Airtel: 1250102; Reliance (CDMA): 55500102).
The CBSE is also answering the examination-related queries of students through the columns of national dailies, including The Hindu.
Some schools have also been coming up with lists containing the telephone numbers of teachers who are to be contacted in case students experience stress and need help.
Members of the public can also interact with the CBSE Chairman on examination-related issues through the CBSE website. The Director (Academic) and Controller of Examinations, CBSE can also be contacted by email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Specific advice on coping with examination-related anxiety and stress is also available on the CBSE website: www.cbse.nic.in.
The tips offered to students on the days to the run-up of the examinations include preparing a revision time-table; making books, notes and essays more user-friendly with summary notes, headings, subheadings, highlighting and revision cards; finding a way of revising that suits the students best—alone or with a friend, morning or late at night, in short, sharp bursts or longer revision sessions; taking notes on important points when revising to help future revision; checking out previous years' question papers and attempting these and talking to a helpful person to deal with stress.
Students have been advised not to collect new notes and materials from friends and work on these till the last minute without time for revision; study for long hours continuously without taking breaks; stay awake all night on the days leading to the examinations; excessive consumption of coffee or tea or giving up studying totally.
The site offers tips to parents too. They should defuse stressful situations for children by providing the right kind of motivation and a conducive environment for studies; guide them in planning, organising and setting a timetable; help them maintain their confidence especially when they seem discouraged; set realistic goals and realise that good schooling and tuition are not substitutes for emotional support.