Students in Bengaluru say they suffer from anxiety due to lack of counseling during exams and demand counselling sessions to deal with the stress.
Guidance becomes a rare facility for Bangalore students. Teachers unreachable, no counselors appointed, students left on their own.
According to The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), all secondary and senior secondary schools should employ a counselor and engage in psychological exercises toward building students’ self-concept, self-image, and the ability to withstand pressure.
But there is a lack of such counselors in schools and colleges in Bengaluru, because of which students who feel anxious have no place to go to and discuss their issues.
Prof S.R. Niranjana, the vice-chairman of Karnataka State Higher Education Council said that they only send the curriculum to schools and colleges, and are not responsible for the counselling. He also said that “Once the curriculum is sent, the department is no more responsible for what happens after that. Counselling is a part of schools and colleges management responsibility and not of the department.”
C.B. Ahobala Rao, Headmaster of The Bangalore Higher Secondary School, said that they only provide vocational education to students for their careers. For mental health problems they have to directly speak to the teachers. “Rao added, “As there are no direct guidelines given to the school from government regarding mental health counselling to students, hence no counselling is provided.”
Venugopal, an economics lecturer from The National Degree College said, “There is no requirement of counselors. The college has good teacher-student relationship and if students have any problem, they can contact the teachers directly.”
But the students of The National Degree College do not feel the same way. Nishant B.M. a second PU-SEBA student said, “Teachers do not attend our calls when we need help. In any case we have to come to college if we need anything.” There is no guidance given to us prior to our exams, he added.
Due to exam stress, students are unable to show their full potential and end up losing marks. Nishant’s parents said that they are worried about their son as he loses his focus due to extreme stress. They also said that apart from academic part schools and colleges should focus on mental health aspect of children as well.
Anchal Narang, B. Ed and Economics teacher at D.S. Public School said that schools should conduct seminars and interactive sessions with the help of a counselor so that students can discuss their mental health related problems with them. She also said, “Teachers should always be there for guidance and prepare their students on how to deal with stress during and after exams.”
Dr. Surya Prasad, Psychiatrist at iBrains- Centre for Precision Neuro-Psychiatry, said that schools and colleges should be a safe place for students to discuss about their physical, mental, financial and family problems. He also said that “A mental health system where a little direction and self-help is taught to students, can do wonders and help students a lot more than just counseling.” Students should manage their time and stay away from distractions during exams to cope up with the stress, added Dr. Surya.