Munde told MiD DAY that his day began with a phone call and after that there has been nothing to stop the phone lines from buzzing away. “I was eating my breakfast when the first call came in,” said the counsellor whose number was made available by the board. “After that, there has been no looking back,” he added.
The board appointed Munde in February and this is his first year manning the hotlines. While talking about the queries he faced, he said, “I have had had my fair share of unusual questions and requests. In the morning, I received a call from a parent asking me if it was possible to pay a board member to increase their child’s marks, as the student hadn’t fared well. I was appalled. I immediately said that it was not possible.”
Another unusual request Munde received was of a parent wanting to know where and how to file a complaint against the board since the student had acquired much less marks than expected.
“Parents generally tend to misuse the helpline. I am aware that they are worried and have questions, but the helpline is made available to ensure students don’t do anything rash and to help keep them well informed about other options they may have,” said Munde in response to the aforementioned examples of requests by parents. Munde spent the entire day at home tending to the hotline.
He was able to answer as many as 75-80 queries from students and parents alike, but also collected a long list of approximately 100 missed calls.
“In the duration that I tended to one call, I would receive at least two to three other calls. It is not possible to answer all the calls but I did make sure that I helped the ones who I could answer.” He also helped those who had not passed the exam and told them what steps to take next.
“We received a huge amount of calls when the results became available online at 11 am and this went on till 2 pm. During this time, my phone wasn’t free for even a few seconds.” He added that he received calls from Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Navi Mumbai, Nashik and even Kankavli.
Munde’s only grouse is that the board did not offer him enough material to answer the queries. “I prepared myself a night before the results and made a list of colleges and courses they offered.”
After a long and hectic day, Munde had this to say: “Parents should accept the results their children have secured and should be supportive of their future choices rather than force them into something they don’t like. This could really help a lot of students deal with their education woes.”