July 5, 2015 3:25 am

Exams Harm Students Mental Health Among Pupils


Too much pressure of exams, harms students mental health, recent study finds.

The National Union of Teachers‘ report says pupils are developing stress-related conditions linked to testing. A survey of 8,000 teachers and a review of research, reveals that current testing methods in schools have reduced the learning ability of children and affects their emotional health and well-being.

Lucie Russell, director of campaigns at mental health charity Young Minds, which backed the report, said: “Both pupils and teachers are under a lot of pressure to achieve results in a pressure cooker, exam factory environment.

It is also reported that education should be a joyful and fun experience which is more conducive to learning rather than a coercive pressure environment which leads to unhealthy competition and anxiety. The government should take steps to improve the education environment to provide a helpful and emotionally appealing framework for students to learn in.

Kevin Courtney, deputy general-secretary of the NUT, said :

“Teachers at the sharp end are saying this loud and clear, ‘If it isn’t relevant to a test then it is not seen as a priority.”

“The whole culture of a school has become geared towards meeting government targets and Ofsted expectations. As this report shows, schools are on the verge of becoming ‘exam factories’.”

In majority of schools, the curriculum is aimed to score well in exams rather than focusing on learning itself. This might prove to be damaging the very fabric of society in terms of intellectual and educational spheres.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

“Part of our commitment to social justice is the determination to ensure every child is given an education that allows them realize their potential. That’s why we are raising standards with a rigorous new curriculum, world class exams and new accountability system that rewards those schools which help every child to achieve their best.”