Good SSC Results Push Up Total Student Numbers To Record 15 Lakh

On the eve of the HSC examination, which will see a record turnout of 15 lakh candidates, hundreds of parents and students thronged the state board's Mumbai division in Vashi to avail of concessions such as writers or extra time for students with special needs or in cases of emergency . The HSC exam starts on Tuesday .

On the spike in total student numbers--from 13.9 lakh in 2016 to 15 lakh this year--state board chairman Gangadhar Mhamane said, “While the increase is not extraordinary , it is more than last year because of the outstanding SSC results over the past few years.The number has also increased because supplementary exams are now conducted in July instead of October. So, students who do not clear it in July reappear in March.“

This year, the board has given concessions to a higher number of students with special needs at 1,012 compared with 892 in 2016.Similarly , the number of spastic students has risen to 76 from 10 last year.

On Monday , authorities and parents traded accusations for the delay in processing concessions. “Till the last day and even after the exam begins, we continue to receive requests for writers or extra time. Students, parents and colleges should do this earlier, unless there is an accident or an emergency . Also, the number of requests we need to process has been rising with each passing year due to increasing awareness,“ said Dattatray Jagtap, chairperson, Mumbai division.

Waiting parents at the Vashi office, though, blamed the board.“My son has a learning disability and we need a writer for him. As Class XI students are busy with exams, we had to look for an adult writer. We require a special permission from the board for the purpose. We have been visiting the office for four days but the officials keep sending us back,“ said the mother of a Commerce student of a Matunga college.

Another set of parents was seen running around to ensure their son gets extra time to write papers. “We have approached the office four times this month but the officials asked us to return only today . It was very stressful to keep the decision pending till the last minute,“ said the mother.

Several students also came to report loss of hall tickets. Board officials assured them that duplicate hall tickets issued by their junior colleges would be sufficient to appear for the exam. “Students must not panic as we have given the authority to junior colleges to download hall tickets and give them to students. In case students lose their hall tickets during an exam, they can simply approach their principals,“ said an official.

Meanwhile, mental health experts said the boards aren't the ultimate exam.

Dr Hozefa Bhinderwala, consultant psychiatrist at Saifee Hospital in Charni Road, said students must know that people are seldom known by their exam scores. “We don't remember people by their final exam scores but what they do with their results eventually . Also, there is no such thing that Class X or XII is the mother of all exams,“ he said.

The exam will be conducted in nine divisions till March 25.