March 1, 2017 1:01:20 am
While for a majority of students who took the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams on Tuesday, the first paper went off comfortably, for a few unlucky ones, the day involved a hunt for their centres. These were the students who turned up at the wrong exam centres with barely few minutes to spare.
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At Abeda Inamdar Junior College in Camp, at least 10 such students turned up after the first bell went off barely 10 minutes before examination was scheduled to start.
A student, Shahrukh Awati, who came in at10.50am,was told that his centre was in Lulla Nagar and that he should rush there. “I did not come to check my name on the centre list before hand as I knew this college very well. On my hall ticket since this centre’s name was printed, I thought I have to come here. However, here, they told me that my sub-centre is different and I have less than 10 minutes to reach,” he said.
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Another student, Rehana Sayyed, also reached the junior college though her sub-centre was Mahavir College in Salisbury Park, which is at least 15-20 minutes away.
Speaking to The Indian Express, she said, “After reaching the exam centre printed on my hall ticket, I realised that I have to go elsewhere. By the time I reached the second centre, it was 11.30am. Had I been five minutes late also, I would have missed the exams altogether. It was a very scary experience.” One student came in after the exam started and was told that his centre was also at Salisbury Park. However, after some requests, the officials allowed the student to take the examination at the same centre as a special case.
Both centre officials and officials of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) placed the blame on students for the goof-up stating that they had not checked their names on the list put up at the centre at least 10 days prior to the exams. “The list is put up in advance at the centres and the students are expected to check their seating arrangement before hand. Appointing sub-centres is nothing new and is done every year. This year, in fact we have reduced number of sub-centres. As a last minute provision, some student can be allowed at the nearest centre he reaches but it cannot be made a practice. And that’s why students are asked to reach the examination centre well in advance and confirm their seating arrangements,” said Gangadhar Mhamane, chairman, MSBSHSE.
However, members of junior college association members said that the entire confusion was anticipated before hand by them. “We had even warned Board officials that something like this could happen. This year, the number of students appearing for the Board exams is the highest and the main centres do not have that much capacity to seat the number of students allotted. These centres appoint sub-centres then. I think that this information has not reached students that must have led to the confusion,” said Anil Deshmukh, general secretary, Maharashtra State Junior College Teachers’ Association.
Meanwhile, with over 15 lakh students across the state and 2.42 lakh students from Pune division alone having appeared for the exams, the first paper went off smoothly said most principals and students confirmed that the question paper was relatively easy. The first paper was English subject and multiple sets were used for examinations and most junior colleges confirmed not having any particular issues in either of the sets. “The students said that the paper was easy and they could easily solve all questions within the given time frame. I think it was a good start to the Board exams,” said Jyoti Gaikwad, vice-principal, MMCC junior college.
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