CBSE students are preparing for their board exams scheduled in February 2023. Among the biggest changes this year was the shift back to a single exam format from a two-exam format introduced during the pandemic. Educators say that while students seem to be dealing well with the change, they are still affected by post-pandemic psychological issues that may hamper their performance in the board exams and need to be dealt with at the earliest.
Psyche is affected
Seema Sapru, principal, The Heritage School, Kolkata, says, “A pressing issue facing board exam students is the adverse impact on their psychological well-being, which is an after-effect of the pandemic, and may hamper their performance in board exams.” Pinpointing a few issues, Sapru says, “From lack of discipline in personal activities such as sleep and meal timings, students are having a hard time with giving continuous attention to their studies.”
Mamta Wadhwa, director principal, Manav Rachna International School, Faridabad, says that post the pandemic, students are facing issues with their writing abilities and level of concentration. “After two years of staying in the confines of their homes, students are now dealing with multiple changes wherein they are required to sit for long hours in classrooms and follow a set timetable, among others, all of which is adding to their stress,” she says.
Dealing with stress
Few schools are using a mentor-mentee programme to guide affected students. “One-on-one interactions with students help educators make students identify mental health problems,” says Wadhwa.
Educators are also relying on career counsellors and psychological advisors to deal with any mental issues faced by students. “Once a problem child is identified, educators try to deal with the situation at their level. However, if the issue is not resolved, we take it to the board, where a proper course of action to help the student is charted. The aim is to ensure that no psychological issue should impact the student’s performance on their board exams.”
Pre-boards will help
Pre-board exams help students understand their problem areas and correct them before the final exams. Santosh Kumar Singh, principal, Netarhat Residential School, Jharkhand, says, “While holding two pre-board exams has always been an option for schools, this year CBSE has sent a notice advising schools to hold two pre-board exams to help students cope with the change in pattern,” he says.
The second pre-board exams will just be for the purpose of practice, so there is no question of these exams adding to the student’s stress levels, says Singh. “In fact, as educators we are able to observe the kind of stress and mental issues that students are dealing with during the pre-board exams. As a result, we will be able to help students find the correlation between their pre-board results and their mental status. Hopefully, this will make way for a smoother and better performance by students during the board exams,” he says.
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