Rachel ( name changed) , felt irritable on the denouement day .She felt nauseous, her palms were sweaty , facial muscles were twitching and she was literally on tenterhooks on her way to appear for the 12th standard math examination .
A student’s anxiety gets compounded with gargantuan expectations of apprehensive parents and those of an enlarged family consisting of grandparents, siblings and peers. The power and focus of the mind shifts from solving complex quadratic equations appearing in the question paper to handling of an unnecessary pressure generated .
For a few moments let us recall the talismanic song by Pink Floyd which developed a cult following ,’ We don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control , Hey teacher leave the kids alone , All in all it’s just a brick in the wall’.
Kidstuf was a musical produced by St Xavier’s School Delhi , in which I was a participant , whose story line championed the cause of children against the overbearing attitude of parents and an oppressive education system. This musical too had magical lines ,’We are marinates , We are puppets , We are all sold for a song ………. School is such a bore and they are building more’.
A student should approach examinations bubbling with energy. The mind ought to be in a state of equilibrium and remain fresh like dew on a petal. The mind should be razor sharp to solve the questions appearing in the question paper.
Anxiety disorders take a massive toll on the human body. It leads to improper sleep, an irritable disposition, obesity, acid refluxes, mood swings, decreased memory power resulting in a dip in the output, loss of appetite, reduction in immunity levels, and disturbingly students are now getting afflicted with type 2 diabetes.
Anxiety is an uneasy feeling about the outcome and a state of disquietude. Students find themselves in a pressure cooker kind of a situation, thereby unable to score the winning runs. Several students develop psychosomatic disorders and perforce have to seek remedial help through counsellors and psychiatrists.
The innocence of a child is sacrificed under the scanner and the scalpel of a doctor. This is indeed both bizarre and tragic.
Today we have access to technology and highly qualified teachers, who impart quality education. But the number of students is humungous that it is practically impossible to pay minute attention to the needs and requirements of every child. Therefore in such a situation, empathetic parenting can act as an ideal buffer to combat the stress faced by students especially during the examination times.
“Good humour is a tonic for the body and mind. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment” writes Grenvitte Klieison .
Teachers should create the Aha! moment in the classroom to attract the attention of the student and parents need to be innovative to spread warmth and mirth in the household , to uplift the mood of their child.
The examination schedule as planned by the controller of examinations needs a review. It extends and stretches over long jurisdiction of time. Can the students maintain their interest and motivation levels, needs to be debated by the stake holders? It is quite possible that ennui sets in the student and the mind gets distracted and consequently loses the focus. It reminds me of a cricket team touring down under which is to play a five test series , followed by one –dayers and T-20’s. If there are no fresh pair of legs , visitors are in all likelihood are likely to be pummelled .
Test the skill of the student, not their anxiety levels.
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