Remain focused, stay fit and calm, confident… Success shall find its way to you, advises renowned educationist

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The upcoming school year is just around the corner, set to begin in 15 days. Pune Pulse had a conversation with the principal of SNBP International School, Rahatani, Jayashree Venkatraman, discussing strategies to address the stress that both children and parents often experience during this time.

SNBP International School Principal Shares Insights on Easing Exam Stress and Navigating Academic Pressure

Q : The Board exams shall end soon. There are still many students who are attempting various entrance exams even before they are out of the stressful preparations of the Board. What advice would you give these students ?

Response: Board Exams are greatly hyped in our country. Long before the exams, students are constantly reminded to dread this formidable milestone. Multiple sets of question papers are solved within stipulated time to ensure precision. This preparatory stage is extremely stressful with lots of uncertainty weighing very heavily on the impressionable minds of the students who have just moved up in their teens. Students of this age undergo lots of hormonal changes, which prompts them to challenge their own entity. This further adds to the already complex situation fuelled with unwarranted competition.  Students of this age are extremely vulnerable to peer acceptance and are constantly anxious of their relevance. They remain emotionally volatile. However, purely in pursuit of proving their merits and capabilities, they take up various entrance exams. More the number of entrance exams attempted, more are viewed, by their peers, as seasoned with a lot of exposure supported by their blinding aspirations.

In this regard, I strongly advise students to weigh the relevance and merit of the exam before attempting it. Constant efforts to crack the objective exams robs the students of the creativity and “out of box” thinking ability and there is a very good chance of the process becoming highly mechanical. So beware of Exams which are just all out to make quick money by exploiting the aspirations of the young generation.

Q : Do you think parents pressurize children to be competitive in the rat race? What would you suggest to the parents?

Response: Parents are becoming over ambitious and also overly concerned about the future of the children. The volatile job market across the Globe has made them extremely insecure. However, may we also remember that, thanks to AI and Machine Learning, the most sought-after courses may not remain relevant. The skill sets required for the future are yet to be unearthed. Let the emphasis be more on Learning the concepts and the fundamentals, rather than cracking the competitive exams. Let the students be encouraged to be sincere, committed, honest and focused towards learning. Let them excel in their learning graphs… Success shall follow.

Q : How much breathing period should children take during both the examinations (boards and entrance exams)?

Response: Everyone has a varied ability to take stress. What works for one may not work for the other.  If exams are leading to sleeplessness, fatigue, loss of appetite then it is a clear sign of exhaustion. Good health should be given major prominence. Let there be good focus towards Board Exams. The scores in the Board Exams are clear indicators of the level of comprehension. Entrance exams should be taken, ensuring a good balance of positive stress and excitement of trying something new and being part of a healthy competition.

Q : The new academic year has started in many schools. While many will begin by April, the students are busy attending the external classes and are giving a miss to the school studies. Any piece of advice for such students..

Globally, Schools remain the life line of Education till the age of eighteen. Replacing schools with coaching institutes shall harm the very chord of the society. Schools are much beyond academics. Schools host innumerable activities pertaining to Sports, Visual Arts and Performing Arts that offer a great respite to the otherwise stressed dincharya of the students. Peer interaction and learning also plays a significant role in students’ lives. Suicide deaths in Kota unveil a saga of painful existence of the students who are cut off from main schools. They start suffering from psychosomatic disorders which are left undiagnosed and untreated. Schools have Counselors and teachers who are equipped to handle such delicate and sticky situations. I implore parents to sign up for regular school to ensure a healthy routine for the students.

Any powerful mantra for the students to be calm, patient yet to be motivated to be in the rat race ..

India by virtue of being the youngest country with an average age, 29 years is all poised to be the Work force of the World in future. The current state of affairs in the country prompts us to accept the predictions of India leading the World by 2050. Having mentioned that, there is no doubt that it shall be this generation that shall script the SUCCESS STORY of India.

So the powerful mantra remains, “ Remain focused, stay fit and calm, confident… Success shall find its way to you”

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