Examination fever: Special classes prove a burden for students

Many are calling helplines complaining about schools and coaching classes

With the onset of the examination season, helplines in the city are flooded with calls from students complaining about their schools and coaching classes “going overboard” with extra tutorial sessions. According to students — most of whom are preparing for Class 10 and second year pre-university board exams — the heavy and unrelenting schedule is leaving them fatigued.

According to Nagasimha G. Rao, director, Child Rights Trust, they have started receiving at least three such calls every day. “Students tell us that they are getting no rest at all and that their school managements are conducting several hours of special classes daily,” he said.

In a few extreme cases, students in many government and private schools are regularly being made to spend the night in school so that they can prepare for the SSLC examination, which will start in March. Other helplines, manned by psychologists and teachers, have also observed a spike in calls from worried students.

Bharathi Singh, founder of Samudra Foundation which counsels youth, said that the number of calls increase between January and April. “Now, we get at least 10 calls a day. More than the academic pressure, students are finding it difficult to deal with parental pressure and juggling classes,” she said. Ms. Singh has observed that in an attempt to de-stress, many students were ‘finding solace’ in their smartphones, tablets and other gadgets, and are at risk of becoming addicted to them.

Fr. Antony Sebastian, chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said they would issue an advisory to schools to minimise the pressure on students and restrict special classes.

Some managements too have identified this “unhealthy” trend and are planning to send an advisory to their over 3,000 member-schools to stop this practice.

D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said that schools can conduct one hour of extra class in the morning and another in the evening. “But some schools conduct classes late into the night and others insist that their students remain in the school at night. This only promotes rote learning...,” he said.

Ms. Singh pointed out that many schools and colleges were segregating students in batches based on performance, which in turn can affect their morale. She cited the example of a student who topped his class regularly, but did not perform well for a brief period as he was ill. “The boy was made to sit in a class with students who scored around 50%. This affected him so much he decided to drop a year.”

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:27:50 PM |

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