Published: 12th March 2018
Shortage of public buses to exam centres stressing rural students out
The lack of transportation in rural areas is proving to be both a struggle and major stress-factor to students appearing for their public exams
Exam anxiety is a common phenomenon during public exams but students in rural areas have a bigger problem: how to get to school on time and not miss the exam. In Madurai district, over 60 centres are located in rural areas where students depend solely on buses to reach their school. The difficulty lies in the frequency of these buses which ply relatively lesser than in the city.
Of the 111 examination centres in the district, 27 are in Usilampatti, 32 in Melur and 52 in Madurai. Teachers from rural areas stated that many students in such exam centres arrive breathless to the exam hall, at the last minute. “On normal days, if students miss their bus, they will be late for the prayer session or may be a part of the first-hour class. But at such a crucial time missing the bus to school can cost a student his/her future as they may arrive late for the examination,” they said.
D Suriya Kumar, a teacher from the Melur Girls Higher Secondary School, said, “Our students come from many surrounding villages such as Thiruvathavur, Vellalur, and Mill Gate. They are dependent on the few buses available to reach the school and return home. Many of them reach the exam hall at the last minute and after the exam gets over at 1 p.m., they wait for more than three or four hours for the buses that will take them home. This will keep them under constant pressure which may affect their performance in the examination. Increasing the transport facilities to public examination centres in the rural areas might help the students write their exams peacefully."
Speaking to Express regarding the transport facilities that are presently available for the students, an official from the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) said, “Roughly 133 town service buses, 621 city service buses and 195 mofussil buses are plying in the district. Of this, all the 133 town service buses and a majority of the city buses, except those that run between one city bus terminal to another, ply in the rural areas.”
“The buses are already scheduled based on school timings to benefit the rural students. Also, extra care has been taken by the bus stand managers, supervisors and checking inspectors in all the areas to monitor the smooth and uninterrupted flow of buses for the exam season so that children are not affected by any untoward incidents. For example, if a bus on a single bus route fails to function, an alternative is sent to the spot immediately by the department. So far, we have not received any complaints about any delay in the services provided by us,” the official added.
(This was first published in The New Indian Express)