The helpline started by the Pre-University department to assist second year PU students to overcome exam phobia and stress met with tremendous response on the first day itself.
The two helpline numbers received more than 300 calls on the very day that they were inaugurated.
Primary and secondary education minister Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri, who inaugurated the helpline, attended the first call.
“When you know that there is someone who is willing to listen to your problems and provide solutions, you feel reassured. I am sure that after talking to our counsellors, the self confidence of our students will increase,” said Kageri.
Students from Chikmagalur, Gulbarga, Hassan, Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Mysore, Shimoga and Chamarajnagar called, seeking solutions to their problems.
And it is not only students, but even parents called in with their queries.
Psychiatrist Dr CR Chandrashekar, counsellor Bharati Singh, professor KE Radhakrishna and PU department commissioner SG Hegde were present at the helpline centre to answer the calls from across the state.
Most of querries were regarding examination phobia.
For instance, a student from Bangalore confided, “I know my lessons well. But the moment I see the question paper I forget everything.”
Dr CR Chandrashekar told the student to stop worrying.
“This is a very common fear. Don’t get excited in the exam hall, trying to recall and rehearse everything you have studied. Instead, sit calmly for about five minutes; then go through the question paper. First answer all those questions that you know well. This will boost your confidence level, and will enable you to do well in the exam.”
There were several other callers who had varied issues. A lady had called from Chikmagalur and said she was worried about her son who is forever bunking classes to go for movies.
A girl from Chandra Layout even asked for the blueprint of question papers.
According to Dr Chandrashekar, most of the students confessed that they felt pressurised because of their parents.
Dr Chandrashekar, in turn, advised parents to refrain from burdening their children with over expectations.
He said that they should rather encourage their wards to perform to the best of their ability.
Initially, the department had planned to keep the helpline open to students till March 12. The students can call between 3 pm and 4.30 pm to seek help. But minister Kageri admitted that the time was not sufficient.
“Depending on the response, we will extend the helpline service.”