The CBSE helped its students counter the stress of board exams of 2019 using specialized audiovisual presentations on issues affecting youth, a toll-free helpline and an interactive voice response system.
As many as 12,000 calls were received on the interactive voice response (IVR) service, a new feature introduced this year, reported Rama Sharma, public relations officer of the Central Board of Secondary Education.
The IVR system included tips for better preparation, time and stress management, frequently asked questions through which students, parents or stakeholders could obtain pre-recorded useful information on tackling board exams along with live tele-counselling services.
With the introduction of the IVR system, the board saw a considerable decline on the calls received on the toll-free helpline in the first phase of counselling, which commenced on February 1 and ended on April 4. The second phase will begin after the board results are declared.
The helpline received more calls from students as compared to parents, as the board had roped in a total of 87 counsellors, comprising 65 from India, two special educators and 22 from foreign schools.
It was observed that the helpline received more calls from boys in comparison to girls. A total of 797 calls from boys and 222 calls from girls were recorded respectively. The total number of calls received by the helpline was 1122.
"This has been the trend every year with more boys calling up than girls. It is difficult to understand why, but it might be because the boys are a bit distracted and usually start preparing at the last-minute causing them to stress more. Girls, on the other hand, are more organised when it comes to studies," the official said.
Another thing observed by the board was that the helpline received more calls from students of private schools as compared to government schools.
"Many a times, students used to call and say, 'Please talk to my parents. They are reprimanding me and pressuring me'. Students have even called up to say they are distracted and are not able to concentrate because they had a break-up," the other official mentioned.
He further reported that a lot of students called up the helpline reaching out to the saying that they were being forced to choose a particular stream and were having suicidal thoughts due to the pressure enforced on them by their family members.
“They were ‘feeling like killing themselves’,” he said.
For the first time, a comprehensive audiovisual presentation titled 'Knowing Children Better' was prepared and uploaded on the CBSE's website and other social media platforms. The presentations were on issues like tackling exam anxiety, internet addiction, substance abuse, depression.
According to the officials the presentations received 75,000 hits on YouTube, while 92,000 views on Twitter with the presentation on tackling exam anxiety getting the maximum number of views.
(With PTI inputs)