Published: 20th June 2022
Tamil Nadu Class X, XII Board exam: Experts on how results are not be all or end all of students' future
Mental health experts feel parents, teachers, and relatives should be cautious with their words and keep a close watch on the activities of the children after the results
Tamil Nadu State Board Class X and Class XII results will be announced on Monday, June 20. And like every year, many students and their parents are apprehensive about it. It's this time of the year that everything about a child is reduced to mere marks.
For a State like Tamil Nadu, which reports a considerable number of student suicides, this societal attitude is worrisome. According to a National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) 2019 report, 914 students took their lives in the State that year. The Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2020 report of the NCRB showed that 83 students killed themselves in TN that year owing only to failure in examination.
Counsellors, teachers, mental-health experts, and parenting coaches have advised parents and students to take the results in the right spirit instead of considering it as the end of the road.
"Due to cut-throat competition and societal pressure, the board exam results of their children have become a status symbol for many parents. Parents shouldn't discuss the exam results of their children with friends or relatives and shouldn't worry about what they say. The only thing a parent should worry about is the well-being of their child. It's important for parents to sit with their children and make them realise that irrespective of the outcome of results, they will always love and value their children," said Kesang Menezes, a parent educator and Co-founder of Parenting Matters.
She further said parents and students need to understand that board exam results are not a passport to a better future. "There are numerous examples of dropouts becoming millionaires. Life always gives opportunities to improve ourselves and instead of dwelling in failure or fault finding, parents should motivate their children to perform better next time," said Menezes.
Mental health experts feel parents, teachers, and relatives should be cautious with their words and keep a close watch on the activities of the children after the results.
"It's very important for parents and teachers to support children unconditionally and help them tide over exam failure. Many parents unknowingly taunt children over poor results, scold them or express their hopelessness in front of relatives as the child has failed to meet their expectations. These activities cause immense emotional stress on Classes X-XII students, who are mainly teenagers and don't know how to deal with this pressure and humiliation. This may lead to a breakdown or suicidal thoughts," said Dr P Poorna Chandrika, Director of the Institute of Mental Health.
"If the child becomes agitated, irritated over petty issues, depressed or suddenly becomes silent, the parents should take them as warning signs and should talk to the child or counsel them. It is important for the child to know that their value is much more than a number," added Poorna Chandrika.
Teachers highlighted that parent should never forget that students wrote exams after two years of pandemics. Apart from learning loss, the students had to cope with additional stress owing to various factors like financial problems in the family and the death of loved ones due to COVID-19.
TN Graduate Teachers' Federation General Secretary P Patrick Raymond said, "During the pandemic, life wasn't easy for students. Many government school students could not afford to attend online classes, while those attended were not able to understand it."