Nearly 30,000 more students will be appearing for the Class 12 HSC exams across the state this year.
The number of HSC candidates has risen to 13.30 lakh candidates this year compared to 13 lakh candidates in 2010. Of these, the maximum increase (22,000) is in the number of students appearing for exams in the science stream. The HSC exams begin on February 22.
The number of HSC commerce candidates has jumped by approximately 12,000 students. In a continuing downward trend, the numbers of HSC arts stream candidates has dropped by around 3,000.
“Two years ago approximately 300 new junior colleges opened across the state, which means that this year there are several thousands more appearing for the Class 12 exam,” said S Dhekane, secretary of the state board. “Science is the most popular because students think they will have the best opportunities by pursuing science, on the other hands students feel that there are fewer opportunities if they pursue the arts.”
For the Mumbai division the number of students appearing for the HSC exams has increased by approximately 5,000, a less dramatic increase than the rest of the state.
The board’s exam helplines across the eight divisions became operational on Tuesday, in the run-up to the exam season. The helpline of the board’s Mumbai division received 132 calls as of 7.30 pm on Tuesday evening. Most of these were related to technical queries about hall tickets and exam centres. “There was one call from a parent who said her daughter who is in Class 10 seemed to be depressed, so we connected that call to a psychiatrist to guide her further,” said AN Gangane, who was manning the helpline.
This year 3.55 lakh students from the board’s Mumbai division will be appearing for the SSC exams that begin on March 1. This is also the first year that the board will be implementing the concessions available to autistic students appearing for the SSC exams.
As compared to last year such students will be appearing for exams in one language subject and two vocational subjects, instead of in three languages.