Students suffering from anxiety about exams will be able to turn to specially appointed counsellors at Indian School Muscat (ISM), it was revealed this week.
The school has taken the step to help stressed out pupils facing the pressure of make-or-break tests, which could decide their academic futures.
But it’s not just the children who can seek help to calm frayed nerves. Parents can also take advantage of the free pre-examination telephone counselling service offered by ISM.
Four trained counsellors have been lined up to provide counselling for Classes X and XII.
The service started February 1 and will run until April 22, according to the Indian School Board.
“This is the 19th consecutive year that CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) will provide psychological counselling services to students at the time of preparation as well as during the examinations to overcome exam-related stress,” an official from the Indian Schools Board told a local newspaper.
Online counselling will be available, while principals from affiliated CBSE schools will also offer counsel to pupils.
It’s a big time of year for students as the exam season readies to get into full swing.
Thousands of students across Oman are preparing for important exams starting next month when more than 3,800 students sit for board exams of the Indian Schools, followed by the Pakistan board in April.
In May, 53,000 Omani pupils will sit for their Diploma exams. Bangladeshi schools also have board examinations this year.
Dr Benny Varghese Paduvan, one of the counsellors offering tele-services, said study patterns, lifestyle and psychological factors can all play a part in stress.
“When you become stressed, you might start to have negative thoughts like: ‘I can’t answer this’ or ‘I am stupid’. If this happens, students should stop their thoughts,” he said in an interview.
The father of a 16-year-old student of Indian School Salalah who committed suicide last year due to examination stress, urged parents to keep an eye on their children during this difficult time.
“It is time parents should be extra supportive of their children and should help them in all possible ways as they are already nervous,” said the father, speaking to a local newspaper.
Nakshatra Sreekumar hanged herself at home as she struggled to cope with the pressure of exams.
“I don’t know what to say,” said her father. “I loved her and wanted to give her all the happiness in life.”