Anxious students jam CBSE helpline

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With Board exams round the corner, the helplines of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have been flooded with phone calls from anxious students and parents, said officials. As many as 43 principals, trained counselors from CBSE affiliated schools, psychologists and social scientists are operating helplines individually from India and overseas since February 1, reports IANS. The board exams will start on March 2. 'We have received an overwhelming response from students and their parents. Some of the students are really depressed and anxious about board exams and I talk to them for as long as three to five hours till they are satisfied,' said CBSE counselor Geetanjali Kumar.

The queries of students vary from using a particular type of pen to time management and from subjective problems to behavioural changes. 'Since the helpline started, my phone has not stopped ringing and with just a week left for board exams, I am answering as many as 100 calls a day. Some of the students are routine callers and they call me daily and discuss their problem,' said Kumar, a professional counselor with several schools in Delhi. The CBSE has also downloaded a short film 'Smile Through Stress' and a document 'Smile Your Way Through Exams' on its website. Deepa Saini, a psychiatrist who answers queries on the CBSE helpline, said, 'In the initial conversation I just try to get an idea about the students' confidence level and counsel them accordingly. Some of the students seem very confident and ask how they can increase their marks while some ask what they should do as they have not studied throughout the year.' There are 39 helpline centres in India and four abroad – Kuwait, Dubai, Doha and Sharjah – that are catering round the clock to the queries of students appearing for board exams. For the first time, CBSE has included special educators to take care of the differently-abled children from centres located at Mumbai and Delhi.

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