With anxieties soaring high during the ongoing HSC exams in Maharashtra, the state board helpline was flooded with more than 100 calls from distressed students on Monday.
From calming down nervous students to making last-minute arrangements for a few to appear for the exams kept the officials on toes.
More than 3.1 lakh students appeared for the English paper across 496 examination centres across Mumbai. While the students said that paper was an easy on although lengthy, many of them had called up the helpline to seek help.
The day had started with a panic-stricken call from a class 12 repeater worried about failing his physics and chemistry exam. The student was gripped with the fear that he might fail there two paper again this year. "I can't concentrate on studying, if I fail again this year, it will be very humiliating for me and my family," the student (name undisclosed) told the helpline official.
The counsellor on the helpline, Ashok Sarvoday, a teacher at Balmohan School, Dadar, counselled the student for more than 30 minutes. "I explained to him that if he focuses too much on the past, he will not be able to improve his performance this year," said Sarvodaya.
Thanks to the prompt action by the helpline official, a student from Kandivli, who had broken his hand couple of days before the exam, was allowed to write the paper with the help of a writer.
Though the board procedure states that requests for writers should be made couple of days before the exams, the officials made an exception in case of this student. "He had a medical certificate from the doctor and his hand was also visibly in a cast, so considering the situation, we allowed him to appear," said Sarvodaya.
Similarly, a handicapped student was allowed to write the paper from a centre near his home.
Five to six parents from Antonio D'Silva School, Dadar had also called up with complaints that the centre was not 'clean' for the students to write the exam. The board officials instructed a local education officer to visit the centre and check the arrangements.