Students should identify fellow students who are stressed: Edu minister

On a visit to his alma mater, Sathaye College, State Education Minister Vinod Tawde interacted with students on dealing with exam stress and performance worries, and spoke about bettering the quality of education

On Saturday morning, the newly-appointed state education minister, Vinod Tawde, visited his alma mater, Sathaye College in Vile Parle. He was invited by the college authorities to interact with students and the discussion soon turned into a question and answer session with students voicing their wish to see changes in the education system.

Tawde put up this picture of his visit to Sathaye College on Facebook
Tawde put up this picture of his visit to Sathaye College on Facebook

One of the students stressed on the need to curb student suicides, which have been increasing due to the stress around examinations and performance. “Is there a plan in place that can help curb this issue? Many students have lost their lives because of this pressure,” pointed the student.

To this, Tawde said that while performance during exams is of importance, it is also important not to make it the only reason for survival. “Many students take their academic performance very seriously and this often leads to increased pressure and ultimately takes a toll on them.

While we have already stressed on the importance of counsellors in schools and colleges, even students should be aware about basic counselling techniques, of which the most important is to identify a student who is stressed,” said Tawde.

He added that the minute a student finds fellow students stressed about exams or depressed, it is their responsibility to ensure that they don’t take any serious steps. Some students demanded changes in the education system.

Many stressed on the need for gradual change from traditional rote learning methods to activity-based methods and practical education. Tawde added that the state education department is taking all suggestions into account and working on bettering the quality of education.

This is not the first time that Tawde has stressed on improving the quality of education in the state. Last week, he was present at a function held at a municipal school in Vile Parle and gave students of municipal schools a big reason to celebrate.

He announced that the students of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools might soon have a sure-shot route to finding a seat in any government-aided college. The announcement was made keeping in mind the low number of BMC students that get through to good colleges in the city due to poor scores.

“Most students from municipal schools are often branded on the basis of their school, and due to less scores compared to children from other schools, they end up losing out on getting a seat in a well-known college.

Our aim is to try and rectify this,” said Tawde, who refused to divulge any details on how this will be implemented, or when. Many feel that the problem with previous admission policies was the blind quota system being made available to state board students, which was unfair to students from other boards.

“In this case too, if the education department plans on giving admission to students from municipal schools on the basis of merit, it will be of great help to students. But only quotas will kill the motivation of children to do well in exams, and to make matters worse, also bring about segregation in classrooms, which is unhealthy," said Arundhati Chavan, president of PTA United Forum.

Tawde Tweets
Visited my alma mater today, i.e Sathye college. Felt nostalgic. Had personalised discussions with students for quite some time. Discussed the importance of a friend in one’s college life esp. when one faces problems like low marks or low self esteem. Relevance of politics, balance between curriculum and extra curricular activities and subject of student suicides were the highlights of the discussion.

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