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Failing stress test

delhi Updated: Feb 22, 2009 00:56 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Tina (name changed), a class VIII student of a Delhi school, lost interest in studies after being repeatedly rebuffed by her teacher and suffering corporal punishment. “The razor-sharp words of my teacher kept haunting me many nights. I wondered what my fault was for being scolded in front of my classmates,” she told a stunned audience of top educationists recently.

Negativity and stress are on the rise among students across the country, posing a threat to their future. Reason: parents and teachers. A nation-wide survey has held “the narrow mindset of teachers and pressure by parents” responsible for the emotional trauma students face these days.

During the survey — conducted by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) — 1,100 schoolchildren were asked to narrate their emotional experience in classrooms. “The survey reveals there is an increasing trend of extreme negativity among schoolchildren, which could impact their future lives,” said NCERT director Krishna Kumar.
Kumar said it’s becoming difficult for a child to deal with the stress. “It starts from getting admission to a school and continues with clearing exams from grade one right up to IIT and MBA entrance examinations,” said Kumar, blaming it on parents and teachers.

The study, aimed at analy-sing the “darker side of schooling”, was conducted in Delhi, Ajmer, Bhopal, Shillong and Bangalore. It pointed out disturbing trends. “Many students fear going to school as they feel terrorised there,” said Kumar.

Samir Hassan Dalwai, director, Child Development Centre, Mumbai, too confirmed the disturbing trend. “We are seeing an increase in cases of shaken baby syndrome.”

The students surveyed during the study said they felt happy and less stressed whenever they are taught something new or in an innovative manner.