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Edu board to give you earful for frivolous calls to helpline

Annoyed by career queries on its numbers meant for stress-related questions, officials to reprimand such callers

Parents or guardians who call on helplines started by the state education board for SSC and HSC students asking irrelevant, inane questions will now receive a sound hearing from the board directors and officials.
All such calls will now be forwarded to the main board by the counsellors, where the executors of such frivolous calls will be reprimanded fittingly.


Tough call: Counsellors complain that about 30 to 35 calls they attend
everyday turn out to be frivolous. representative pic


The helpline was started by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) last year following a spurt in students' suicides owing to stressful conditions during examinations.
Officials said parents, however, often called up the helpline and bombarded the counsellors with career queries.
As SSC and HSC examinations are likely to start by next week for repeaters, the helpline has been receiving calls from parents regarding the number of seats available or admission procedures and the re-evaluation process, officials said.

"The trained educational counsellors are sometimes bombarded with unwanted calls," said a senior official from the board. "Even when we tell them that the helplines are only for stress-related queries and not for career information, they call back repeating the same questions. Just for a start, we have decided that all such calls will be directed to the board office numbers by the counsellors, and then we will admonish the callers and make them understand the rules." 

The teachers who have been trained by the state's vocational guidance centre to serve as stress counsellors for state board students had complained to the authorities about the calls, as they were attending to about 30 to 35 irrelevant calls everyday. "Parents are more enthusiastic and want to know about their children's career, even though the helplines are not meant for that. I don't think all the calls are unwanted; if they want to ask anything important, then they should not be refused," said Ujwaladevi Patil, chairman of MSBSHSE.

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