The first attempt to iron out errors in hall tickets — the most important documents for candidates appearing for the upcoming Maharashtra state board exams — has backfired. Schools fear this will lead to errors in students’ hall tickets once again.
For the first time, the board released exam “prelists”— documents containing student details — for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams online this year, with a view to make it easy for schools to double check student information to be printed on the hall tickets. But schools complained they are unable to rectify the errors because the website is slow. Hall tickets contain the students’ name, date of birth, photograph, chosen subjects, medium of instruction for the exam. This year, students’ birthplace and Aadhaar number will be printed on it for the first time.
According to board officials, the website servers crashed, unable to support the heavy traffic. This has forced the board to go back to rectifying mistakes offline, defeating the purpose of going digital. Schools have now been asked to take a printout of the prelists, make corrections offline and submit them to the board officials, who will enter the changes into the system. “Many of the schools couldn’t make online corrections to the list as the server was down,” said Siddeshwar Chandekar, secretary of the Mumbai division of the board.
But principals are worried returning to the old system will lead to error-ridden hall-tickets. “Even if we send the corrected prelists to the board, often the officials make mistakes while entering the data manually into the system,” said Meenakshi Walke, principal, Indian Education Society’s Secondary School, Bhandup.
In 2014, the board was blamed for multiple mistakes, ranging from misspelt names, wrong subjects, medium of instruction and in some cases, even photographs. Such serious slip-ups can prevent the candidate from writing the exam unless it is rectified in advance.
Teachers suggested starting the exam registrations early next year to prevent such confusion. “If the registrations are completed by November, schools will get a whole month to double check student information before it is printed on the hall tickets,” said Prashant Redij, headmaster, Hilda Castilino School, Kandivli and spokesperson of the Mumbai School Principal’s Association.