Unsure of what to do when her online application form refused to open, Pooja Shah, 15, approached her school. Her school sent her to a guidance centre set up by the education board at Hinduja College. The guidance centre asked her to go back to the school.
“I went back and forth but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do,” said Pooja Shah, 15, a student of a South Mumbai school.
This year, the education department trained schoolteachers and principals in the online admission process to handle their students’ applications. However, students have been flocking to guidance centres to solve their doubts. Though the 47 guidance centres that the education department set up across the city were meant for students from outside the city, they have been besieged by queries and problems of local students as well.
“We have noticed that some schools are not properly guiding their students even though we trained the schools this year,” said PR Pawar, education inspector of the west zone. The department conducted two sets of training sessions for schools, who were in turn supposed to guide their students.
One guidance officer estimated that of the 200-odd students who come to his centre daily, half are usually local students.
“We have explained schools their role, but even then, they have not been paying attention,” said one guidance centre official.
At Kirti College in Dadar, one of the centres, several ICSE students were in queue to ask very basic questions about the online form. “Many students coming in from ICSE schools haven’t been trained to fill the forms by their schools” said one official. “Anxious students in turn, are directed to our centres by their schools, and we have to teach them and their parents the basics.”