Exam Stress – Student disposes of papers


So News broke this week (2 Days ago to be precise), about a student with sever stress.

The headlines read:

Matric exams at a KwaZulu-Natal school literally went down the toilet when a pupil feeling the stress of the ongoing finals took an unusual step in trying to have her paper postponed.

The base of the story is a student at Nsongeni High School in Ispingo, KwaZulu Natal (South Africa), snapped and grabbed all the Zulu Exam Papers, while the rest of her class mates sat down to get ready for the paper.  The Student under sever stress and in an attempt to delay the exam paper, grabbed all the exam papers from the teachers desk and ran to the bathrooms where she threw them down a long-drop.

For those of you that don’t know what a long-drop is, it is basically a toilet in rural arrears where they have no running water.  Also known as pit toilet, a long drop, is a type of toilet that collects human feces in a hole in the ground. Urine and feces enter the pit through a drop hole in the floor, which might be connected to a toilet seat or squatting pan for user comfort.

The student after throwing the papers down the long drop then fled the school premises.  The exam administrator was unable to catch up to her.  The chief director of the provincial exams instructed the school be given additional question papers, so that the remaining 16 pupils could write their exams.

The student that committed this act of desperation, was not banned from the school or from writing her exam papers, however she will be writing her remaining exam papers in isolation and under strict observation by an invigilator.

So according to the Education Department of South Africa’s spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa, said that the department had taught pupils to deal with stress through their life orientation classes.

So here is my question, has our schools in South Africa really spent enough time and energy on informing our pupils about mental health awareness?  My honest opinion, I don’t think so.  We need to get our Department of Education to really create a mental health awareness program, that teaches our children about the different mental health issues and how we can go about looking out for the warning signs, and what techniques we could be teaching them to handle stress better.

Our children are the future, yet they are being subjected to much more stress factors than when we were as children.  I touched base on this in my last post, but think about it – they are subject to violence on TV and in the News, they are subject to cyber bullying, and have freedom to access sexual porn sites, the kids of today are permanently “connected”.  As we evolve and make further technical advances, we are creating more and more doorways for children (and adults) to be subjected to different stress factors.

I was watching a documentary on Discovery last night, about how we are making further technical advances and what the future holds for us.  Some of the stuff is scary, a company built AI facial recognition software that can determine a persons sexual preference (i.e. if they are Gay or Not) just of key factors from a persons face and the scary thing is they have tested the software with a 91% accuracy – Why do we need software that can determine a persons sexual preference (Again how much stress is this going to add to individuals that are not out of the closet?).

Another scary AI Facial Recognition software that has been developed, is software that is able to identify if you are a criminal just off your facial structure.  The company has built an algorithm that can determine if you are a potential criminal just by your facial structure (I mean this sounds like stuff from the Tom Cruise movie called MINORITY REPORT).  How scary is this, the software will predetermine you as a criminal, even before you have committed a crime, and it can determine if you are a sex offender, a thief etc.

These technological advances are going to add so much more worry and stress to the average individual and children.  I mean seriously, is this the world we are wanting to create, where children will be ‘forced out the closet’before they are ready or will be branded as a criminal before they have potentially done anything.

I worry about the mental health of all future individuals that are eventually going to be subject to this type of AI.

So again I stress the importance of teaching our children about mental health and coping mechanisms.  This shouldn’t be an optional class, it should actually be a compulsory class, that teaches children about basic psychology and well being.

Please let me know your thoughts on this post and if you agree with me that children need to be educated correctly about stress factors and coping mechanisms?



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