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Board counsellors want schools to set up helplines

Counsellors manning the Maharashtra State Board’s Mumbai division office are a busy lot these days. With both the crucial exams for students in the state underway HSC and SSC they are men and women in demand, with worried students and even more worried parents calling them.

Chandrakant Munde (in green) and Babasaheb Hyalij (in white) motivate students who tend to get depressed after a poor exam
Chandrakant Munde (in green) and Babasaheb Hyalij (in white) motivate students who tend to get depressed after a poor exam

Board officials claim that on an average, they receive 100 calls a day from students and their parents from all over the city, having several examination related queries.

However, most of the students ring up to ask frivolous questions, answers to which even their own schools would have, they say. For example, ‘where is my exam centre’, ‘when is the next paper’ and so on. Only a chosen lot call up with genuine queries.

Around 2,86,988 students appeared for their HSC exams in Mumbai division yesterday. Laxmikant Pande, chairman of the Mumbai division board, said, “Students call with irrelevant queries, thus wasting the time of the counsellors.

Because of this, they will not be able to cater to students who have genuine queries. Schools should probably have a helpline where their students can call and enquire about details pertaining to their exams. Otherwise, our counsellors are at the service of students from morning to evening.

Some students get very depressed and call up when they do badly on their paper. Our counsellors try their best to motivate such students to prepare well for the next exam, instead of thinking of what has already happened.”

Officials explained that the helpline was meant to counsel and motivate students who tend to get depressed or have suicidal tendencies after they perform badly on a paper. The helpline number has two board officials, besides two counsellors, who are seated in the chamber to attend to any queries related to the board office.

Babasaheb Hyalij, who was at the board’s helpline centre on Friday afternoon, said, “Today was the English paper, which is a compulsory subject. Most of the students who called up said their paper was satisfactory.” Yet, the counsellors attend to every query.

“Our responsibility is to pacify students who get stressed and we try doing it to the best of our ability. However, even if students call with irrelevant queries, we try answering them. It would be wrong on our part to scold them, considering most of them are already tensed about their examinations,” explained Chandrakant Munde, the other counsellor at the office.

He further added, “When students are not able to reach any centre, we try making arrangements for them to appear for their examination at a centre in an area where they might on that particular day. This ensures they don’t miss out on writing time for the paper.”

Irrelevant, but common questions
>> What is the next paper? 
>> Where is our test centre?
>> What will happen if we have written the incorrect seat number?
>> If we cannot reach our centre on time, what should we do? 
>> How will today’s paper be?

2,86,988
Number of HSC students who appeared for the English exam yesterday

Helpline no: 022-27893756

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