Exam stress keep students in distress

TESTING TIMES

Exam stress keep students in distress

From pre-school to postgraduation students have to undergo exam stress as also the parents, writes Srijaya Char

Even the pre-schoolers are subjected to ‘interviews’ when they are admitted to school and even at that stage they go through what is called ‘stress’. The stress here is more for the parents than for the children.

When my daughter was two years she had already started attending pre-school not because I had put her in the school but because she accompanied me to the school that I was in charge of in Tiruchirapalli.

She was a sort of ‘follow the mother’ kind of a girl who followed me everywhere.

When she was ready for school we were in Mysore. I took her along with me to a school to which I had sought admission. One of the teachers there made her sit on a chair and showed her a coloured printed chart with pictures of vegetables.

‘What vegetable is this? – The teacher asked. She was pointing to the picture of a carrot.

She kept silent for a while and looked at me and the teacher and did not say a word.
‘Okay, tell me what vegetable is this?’ – She showed the picture of a cauliflower.
My little one seemed a bit annoyed and looked at me and said. “Amma, I know both of them, but why should I tell them? Don’t the teachers know?” I had not prepared her for anything and I felt quite amused.

The teachers took it in their stride and had a hearty laugh.  “Smart!” – said one of them. Of course she was admitted to the school and they were happy with her.
I was happy that she was not the one to get stressed because of a question from a teacher.

Isn’t it a sad state of affairs if children aged 2 and 3 years have to undergo stress because of being questioned by some strangers who feel that they are testing a child for their intelligence? Being a part of the educational scene, I am aware that these interviews are conducted just for elimination of some students because of availability of seats.

Recently, I had a talk with a 4-year-old girl about her school and she told me that she was ‘jetted’ from two schools for which her mother had applied.
“Jetted?” – I was perplexed.

“She means to say that she was ‘rejected’” – corrected her mother.
I did not want to talk about school with the child anymore.

Next on my list are parents, the real worriers of exam. They are the most stressed. Can I once again bring my own experience into this?  When my son and daughter were doing their engineering exams, they wanted me to wake them up at 4.30 am in the morning.

One would have his exams on Monday and the other on Wednesday or some other day.  Before going to bed they would tell me. Amma, don’t forget to wake me up at 4.30 am tomorrow.

Lest I forget, they would put a note on a piece of paper in large capital letters in Sketch pens “WMU (L and D)”on the mirror above the wash basin where I brushed my teeth. Did you know what it meant? WMU meant Wake me up.

L and D meant Life and Death. If it was written in green ink it was my daughter. And if it was written in red ink it was my son. Even I had to be tested. Funny, isn’t it? I needed to remember whose note it was. The colour of the ink.

I would set the alarm for 4 in the morning, prepare their coffee and wake them up at the time they wanted.

There would be days when they would have worked late into the night and my heart would go out to them when they had to get up so early.

See what it means to the parent?  Those were the days when the competition was not as serious as it is today.

I really feel sad for the present day students, parents and teachers who go through more stress during the time of the Board Examinations than what we did as students and parents.

Now with computers and internet, a lot of work is being done for the children by the parents like typing out notes, printing out mock question papers, collecting information, cutting and pasting pictures for their various projects, collecting addresses of various websites that are useful to them. This starts almost from the time they enter school. 

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