On Monday evening, the SSC board’s Mumbai helpline received unusual calls, and the board took equally exceptional measures to deal with these cases.
A girl called to say she had burnt her hand and would not be able to write her first exam on Tuesday.
A boy called from Badlapur and said his father had passed away on Monday morning and he would find it difficult to travel to his centre in Bandra for the exam.
“We reassigned both those students to centres near their homes for their convenience,” said M Ahire, who was manning the helpline on Monday. “We also told the girl she could write the exam with a writer.”
Several students also called to double check on the timetable after confusion in the HSC timetable caused chaos when the exams began last week.
Around 3.55 lakh students will be appearing for the SSC exams across the city this year, and 16.4 lakh students from across the state. The first paper is the first language paper for those whose first language is not English.
Class 10 and 12 CBSE students will also sit for their first board exam on Tuesday. Both sets of students will appear for their English paper. This year is the first year the board exam was made optional for Class 10 students.
However, 75% of the students in the state (15,969) will be writing the exam as compared to 25% of students (5,680) appearing for the school final exam.
At RN Podar School in Santacruz, last-minute preparation was in full swing through the social networking site Facebook. “We had started it as a farewell group for the outgoing batch. Now that it is exam time, they are using it as a forum to solve doubts and teachers have also put up sample papers,” said Avnita Bir, principal of RN Podar School. “Teachers answer queries right away, students are getting a lot of help via the group.”