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Day 1 of HSC exams in Mumbai: New rules lead to confusion

Around 3.3lakh students from Mumbai division -- 50,325 from the arts stream, 1,78,660 from commerce, 96,712 from science, and 5,149 from MCVC – took the English exam on Monday.

mumbai Updated: Feb 21, 2018 23:56 IST
Ankita G Menon
Ankita G Menon
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra,Mumbai,HSC exams
Around 3.3lakh students from Mumbai division -- 50,325 from the arts stream, 1,78,660 from commerce, 96,712 from science, and 5,149 from MCVC – took the English exam on Monday.(Praful Gangurde)

The new rule of not allowing more than 25 students in a classroom led to confusion across exam centres on the first day of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education’s (MSBSHSE) higher secondary certificate (HSC) exams on Wednesday

Around 3.3lakh students from Mumbai division -- 50,325 from the arts stream, 1,78,660 from commerce, 96,712 from science, and 5,149 from MCVC – took the English exam on Monday. “The exams started smoothly. Some schools didn’t have enough space, so we have to allow them to accommodate more students,” said Dr Subhash Borse, assistant secretary, Mumbai division, MSBSHSE.

Another change introduced this year was not allowing candidates to enter the exam hall, once the test begins. “A few students came 5 to 10 minutes late. The schools and students are adjusting to the new rules,” said Borse.

The MSBSHSE board helpline received around 52 calls from students who were confused about the seating arrangements. “Usually, the calls during HSC exams are fewer. This year, we saw students panicking about the documents to get for the exam. Some also got their Aadhaar card, which is ideally not required. They only need to get the hall ticket. Students are worried about the pen that needs to be used for writing the exam. We have tried our best to calm down students as well as parents,” said Murlidhar More, counsellor at the board helpline.

Some students were, however, not too happy with the arrangements. “We got our question papers a few minutes past 11am and they collected it sharp at 2pm. Also, the classrooms had more than 25 students,” said a student from Vashi.

Flying squads make sure phones are out of range

The six flying squads, comprising 4 members each, formed to check malpractices across Mumbai division confiscated 15 mobiles from an examination hall in Mumbra on the first day of HSC exams. Among these, 13 phones were of students and 2 of the invigilator.

“All the mobiles were collected and kept on the table by the invigilator. They were not being used, but the flying squad confiscated and switched off the phones. According to the new rule, students or invigilators are not supposed to get their mobile phones to the examination hall,” said Dr Subhash Borse, assistant secretary, Mumbai Division, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE).

The flying squads visited 21 centers across Mumbai division on -- 4 in Malad and Vasai, 3 in Mumbra, 2 each in Bhandup and Govandi, 1 each in Chembur, Vikhroli and Virar.

Help at hand for those fighting against odds

Navi Mumbai: The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) made special arrangements for students taking the HSC test against all odds.

A case in point could be Kaushal Attal from Thane, who suffers from Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia, a condition in which the person doesn’t have sweat glands, making it inconvenient to sit in the exam hall for three hours. His centre at Bandodkar College at Chendani Bunder Road provided him with an AC room. “If the body temperature is not maintained, Kaushal runs a temperature or gets seizures. So we took special permission to write the exam in an AC room,” said Rita Attal, his mother.

While Anurag Thombre, a student with learning disability, wrote the test at Bhatia Junior College in New Panvel using a computer, special arrangements were made for diabetic student Simran Kaur at PVG’s Vidya Bhawan High school and Junior college, and cancer patient Vidhi Shah who appeared from Christ High School and Junior college in Koperkhairane.

“I can’t stay hungry for three hours at a stretch as I am diabetic. I had to take permission from board to allow me to eat something at regular intervals,” said Kaur.

Sainath English High School, Vashi, made special arrangements for Yugant Kamble who is suffering from tuberculosis. “My son was diagnosed with Tuberculosis only few days prior to the exams. We had to get a separate room for him to write the exam,” said Jaishree Kamble, mother of Yugant from R F Naik School.

Dr Subhash Borse, assistant secretary, Mumbai Division, MSBSHSE, said, “Every year we ensure that all students get equal treatment during exams. Special provisions are made so students don’t miss out on a year owing to lack of infrastructure.”

First Published: Feb 21, 2018 23:56 IST