With two days to go before the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams begin, students are having pre-exam jitters, evident by the flood of calls councillors manning the helpline at the board office in Vashi have been receiving. The helpline service initiated by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education has been receiving over 100 calls on average each day.
With the first exam scheduled to begin on February 21, students have been calling in with queries ranging from doubts related to exam dates, exam timings, name and address of examination centres and even questions on ways to prepare for the exams.
Anil Gadhe, a counsellor at the centre, said that the helpline facility started functioning since February 14 this year, and the councilors receive calls continuously from 9 am till 7 pm. Students can avail counseling free of cost till March 26.
“Students call to ask various questions, including which exam centre they have been allotted, conformations regarding time table and other doubts plaguing them. We try our best to address their concerns with patience,” Gadhe said.
Laxmikant Pande, divisional chairman of Mumbai board, said the councillors are trained to be very patient with students. “Considering their exams are near, we expect them to be a little nervous and need to be handled with patience,” Pande said.
Dealing with students is only part of the job, as concerned parents also call in seeking information and guidance. “Considering that most students appearing for their exams are teens, they tend to rely more on friends rather than their parents and teachers. At such times, it is best to be patient and allow them to speak before offering suitable solutions or advice,” Gadhe said. He added that parents should not set very high expectations of their children, especially if they are averagestudents.
News of exams scheduled for February 21, being postponed on account of the Bharat bandh, has been doing rounds and giving rise to concerns from students and parents alike. An official from the board office said, “Till now, all exams will be held as per schedule and no paper has been postponed.”