Schools fail counselling test

January 17, 2010, 12:00 am

Suicides by at least 10 students within a week in Mumbai has laid bare the stress monster that is fast spreading its tentacles. While the problem has been mounting over the years, the schools seem to be doing little to shield kids from competition-related stress.

Though almost all school boards have developed strategies to fight stress among students, there has been little follow-up by schools. The district administration here has now asked the education department to find out solutions for increasing stress level among students, but the schools need to act fast, and that does not seem to be happening. Despite efforts from various boards, most of the students are not able to avail those services because of lack of information as schools fail to convey it to them.

Every year the Central Board of Secondary Education announce counselling service for students, but students are hardly able to contact the counsellors as schools do not put up the service on notice boards. Similarly, CBSE has prepared a documentary on stress for students, but the film is hardly shown in any school. PSEB had also started counselling for the first time last year but students could not avail the service because they were not told about the availability of counsellors.

Talking about it, a student of Ryan International School said, “When we open the official site of the Board we do see that a documentary movie has been made on how to tackle stress. But we do not get enough time because of tuitions and in schools teachers are busy completing the syllabus.” Similarly, a student from Greenland Senior Secondary School said, “In our class nobody knows about any such documentary and counsellors who could help us.”

Gurpreet Kaur, principal of Ryan International School, said, “I do not think that there is any need for students to be in stress as CBSE has made the education system very easy.” Baldeep Pandher, principal, Greenland Senior Secondary School, said, “We keep students so busy that they do not get time to feel stress. Rather than showing stress-relieving documentaries, we organise seminars to help the students,” she added.