Nagpur: Board exams have already begun and students are suffering from stress as well as extreme heat wave. Clinics and out-patient departments (OPDs) of paediatricians and general physicians are full of exam-bound students suffering from heat stroke symptoms.
Due to the extreme summer situation, doctors in Vidarbha have expressed hope that the concerned boards will consider conditions in Vidarbha and at least change the exam timings for the region.
“Staying under the sun for a few minutes is enough to give you hyperpyrexia or heat exhaustion and finally heat stroke,” said Dr Rajkumar Kiratkar, president of the academy of paediatricians (AOP), Nagpur branch. “Most students have ACs or air coolers at home. But these are not available at exam centres. Though, the examination is for 3 hours, students must reach at the centre an hour before. So, they stay in high temperature for at least 4 to 5 hours. It becomes difficult to maintain hydration for such a long time,” he added.
Paediatrician Dr Pankaj Agrawal said that the cases of heat stroke are unusually high this year because summer is too extreme. “Temperatures in some districts of Vidarbha have already reached the 46-degree mark. Board exams are generally over by Mid-March. This year, conditions are unusual and so, children are suffering,” he said.
Senior paediatrician Dr Avinash Gawande said students are already under pressure due to the physical mode of examination and they must get some relief. “At least for Vidarbha, the boards may consider early morning shifts for exams. In the next few days, temperatures are likely to reach the 48-degree mark in Vidarbha,” he said.
Dr Vasant Khalatkar said that a few students were hospitalized too. “I have seen cases when we had to hospitalize a student suffering from heat stroke. They have their next paper scheduled in the next two three days so this tension is over and above the heat stroke problems,” he added.
Adolescent psychologist Anita Pund said that anxiety of examination is triggering heat stroke symptoms in kids. “The board exam is being held in a conventional manner for the first time in the last 2 years. This batch had hardly experienced this level of anxiety. Unknown school as examination centre, parent’s expectations and many other issues are there,” she said.
Parents are finding themselves helpless in such conditions. “CBSE exams are not being conducted at home centres. So, we can’t demand air coolers. Our children are bound to wear masks for three hours which adds into their suffering,” said Dr Amjad Khan, whose son is appearing for the class X exam.
Exam + Summer = heatstroke
* Air coolers, ACs are not available; Exam centres hardly have ceiling fans
* Mask use compulsory at exam centres despite being made voluntary in Maharashtra
* Only transparent water bottles allowed at centre, keeping water cold becomes difficult
* Reaching exam centre and going back home in scorching heat a nightmare
* Maintain hydration and avoid sudden environment change
* Boards should consider morning shift at least in Vidarbha