The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examination began on Tuesday amid chaos with over 15 lakh students across Maharashtra - the highest ever in the board’s history - writing the papers.
The first paper, English (01), began at 11am and close to 3.4 lakh students are appearing for the exam in over 500 centres in Mumbai division including Thane, Palghar and Raigad.
Unable to accommodate the large numbers of students, centres in south Mumbai and the western suburbs were forced to move some of their students to nearby schools.
Confusion prevailed outside Antonio D’silva School in Dadar as seat numbers from MO61016 to MO61115 were moved to Nabar Guruji School due to lack of space. The school put up a sign outside its gate directing students to the new centre. Hundreds of students and parents rushed to the new centre.
State board helpline officials said that none of the students missed the paper.
“We received a lot of calls from south Mumbai owing to the confusion over centres,” said an official. “Some of the centres were forced to make alternative arrangements for their students in other schools because they didn’t have the capacity to accommodate them,” the official added.
Similarly, Anjuman-i-Islam’s Dr MIJ Girls School Bandra shifted some of their students to the Bandra Hindu Association School.
“We had put up the seating arrangement and instructions in the school on Monday itself, but many of the students didn’t check them in advance, and so they were surprised when they came to the centre today,” said Saba Patel, principal of the school.
“This year, we were allotted 780 students instead of 400,” the principal added.
To help students reach their exam centres on time, NGOs and volunteers arranged pickup and drop services in places like Goregaon. Volunteers were ready with their cars and bikes to ferry students. They even carried extra stationery items such as pencil boxes and pens.