As the SSC results are to be declared today, the past few days have seen calls flooding in on the helpline numbers set up by the state board to counsel students and parents on how to battle stress and fear of failure.
Though most of the helpline numbers started since the exams began are out of service or have been deactivated because of the frequency of calls, counsellors manning active lines claim that most calls they receive are not from worried students, but from parents seeking career guidance for their children.
The increasing number of stress-related calls coming in this year has prompted officials of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) to rope in additional counselors, and also set up more helpline numbers.
“In just three days, we have received over 35 calls from students and parents. Our helpline is for students battling depression, and we help them get rid of it. Instead, students and parents call to seek career guidance or what subject to choose after the results are announced,” said Ramesh Patil, a counselor from Mahatma Phule College. Over 68,000 students from the city and Pimpri-Chinchwad and around 17.11 lakh students, including 7.64 lakh girls from a total of 20,160 schools in the state, appeared for the SSC examination in February.
“During the HSC exams, we would receive at least 300 to 350 calls from depressed students every day. Though we seldom receive calls from students contemplating suicide, we receive many calls from students confused and scared about what steps to take next,” a counselor from New Arts Science and Commerce College said. Anil Gunjal, secretary of Pune SSC divisional board said confirmed that calls have been increasing since the past two years.
“We had issued directives to all eight divisions across the state to establish counseling centers and set up helplines at the divisional offices. We’ll wait and see the response, as the frequency of calls has increased from the past two years. Students across the state can seek help from experts that we have appointed,” Gunjal said.
Stressed? Speak to the experts
The helpline numbers are:
>> Sharatchandra Botikar (Khadki): 9822991391
>> T M Bangur (New Arts, Science and Commerce): 9763557131
>> Professor Ramesh Patil (Mahatma Phule college): 9822334101
>> Professor Kulkarni (Solapur): 9921530757
>> Baneshwar Vidyalaya: 9272730305
>> Haribhai Devkaran Prashala: 9921530757
>> Board helpline: 25536712/25536783
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