Bhubaneswar: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Well, it does. But what can the Jacks and Janes of our country do with the qualifying marks for higher studies going north every passing year? However, truth be told, both history and expert opinion are both testimony that long hours of study do not necessarily translate into high marks.
Well, then how many hours should a Class X student dedicate to studies? The timing and study pattern vary from one student to another.
Experts believe that it is the consistency of hard work and preparation throughout the year that leads to great results. Children studying for exams should not stress over the results but give their best to the preparation to come out with flying colours.
This is in contrast to the views of Odisha’s School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash who had earlier in the day suggested that students preparing for the matriculation exams should dedicate 14 hours in a day to studies to increase the chances of success.
Namita Mohanty, a retired psychology professor, said, “Every child is different and has a different study pattern or schedule. We should focus on completing the course either through part of the distributed method of studies and that could be in as many hours a child decides they can devote. Take a break, take a pause and again study otherwise fatigue and stress will take a toll.”
The children should be allowed to be in their comfort zone, which will be helpful in concentrating and focussing on studies, she said.
Another expert, Professor Ajit Mohanty, said factors like a child’s potential to absorb and retain what they are reading, family encouragement and teachers or school support play a major role.
Setting a clock and asking the child to study for a certain number of hours has never worked, said Prof Ajit. “Elders work for eight hours in a day and that leads to fatigue in many cases. Why should we persuade children to study for longer hours?”
Some students understand easily and can complete their course in a short time while others take longer. Every child has their own style which works well for them, he added.
Moreover, at this age, children are already aware of their strengths and they work accordingly, most of the time in coordination with the person (could be a friend, teacher or parent) who understands them, Prof Ajit said.
According to him, increased focus, even if a child is studying for a short time, will work magic. “Study well, work hard and, if necessary, dedicate a little more time but do not stress and rest well,” he added.
Geeta Das a teacher in St Xavier High School, Kedargouri, said the course has been reduced by 30 per cent but more than the course stress, some students are feeling the stress of exam postponement.
Family pressure to perform well and dedicate more hours during this time has always been there, but the children understand their capability and are preparing as per their capacity.
Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been stressing this in his ‘Pareeksha Pe Charcha’ programme.
Some of the Modi mantras are: Banish exam fear, realise that marks are not everything, take care of your mental health, don’t be afraid of failure, do something instead of becoming something and above all take proper rest.
Modi had said, “I want to see my young friends smiling during examinations, their parents should be stress-free, teachers should be assured.”
Well, pandemic or not, the students, as well as their teachers, will put their best foot forward.