Counsellors help city students beat college admission stress
The fiasco over the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Examination (NEET), low pass percentage recorded in the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exam and the social media rumour mill churning out one false result-related announcement after another have confused and stressed city students seeking admission to degree colleges.
As students try to make sense of a tedious admission procedure, psychology and career experts are helping them beat the blues through helplines, counselling sessions and career guidance programmes.
For instance, through iCALL — a telephone and email-based service run by professional counsellors — the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Deonar, has been offering psychosocial help to students. The service, launched in 2012 by TISS’s School of Human Ecology, is available in different languages — English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi and Malayalam.
Paras Sharma, the programme coordinator for iCALL said that after the HSC exam results were declared, they have been receiving at least 100 calls per day from students and parents from different parts of the state. “This year, the students couldn’t score well in the HSC exam as the physics paper was tough. Many students call the helpline to know the career options available for them,” he said.
Birla College in Kalyan, on Saturday, held a session on careers for students. “Some of our teachers and other experts offered students some career guidance. We now plan to organise a similar programme for Class 10 students,” said Naresh Chandra, the college’s principal.
Meanwhile, a group of school and college teachers, under the banner of city-based NGO Kawish, is counselling students and parents, especially those from the economically weaker sections.
Amir Ansari, a career expert from the organisation, said, “The group informs poor students about affordable skill-based courses, which help them find employment in a short span of time. It also informs them about various government and private scholarships available for needy students.”
“While those who come from a privileged background can afford to hire the services of career experts, the poor students lack the awareness and resources to choose a suitable career,” said Salman Ahmed, Mumbai president, Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO), which recently held a career guidance and counselling session at Bharat Nagar slums in Bandra.
Kawish also counselled students preparing for entrance exams for admission to medical and dental colleges. “Many students who came to us for counselling were very tensed because of the confusion over NEET,” said Kazim Malik, another expert from Kawish.