Ever since the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) announced the results for Class XII on May 25, students distressed over their poor results have been seeking help from career counselors, psychologists and over helplines.
This time, students have fared worse than previous years. The overall pass percentage has dropped from 91.26 last year to 86.60 this year.
iCall, a telephone and email-based counselling service provided by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, has been receiving 150 to 200 calls a day. “While in the previous years we had received more calls regarding information on the verification and re-examination processes, this year, more students are calling and writing to us about how distressed they are,” said Paras Sharma, programme coordinator for iCall.
He added that this year, such reactions had come in earlier than usual. “Usually, we get such reactions almost a week after the results are declared.”
Career counselor Kazim Malik from Bhendi Bazar said students were concerned that even if they did get admission into their preferred colleges, they would not be able to pursue a course of their choice.
“Some had taken entrance tests for engineering and medical courses. With low scores in subjects like Physics and Chemistry, they are worried about whether they can secure a seat in a good college,” said Sharma.
He said the students and their parents were confused about whether to apply for verification, repeat a year or change the stream altogether.
Dr Harish Shetty, a psychologist practising in Andheri and Powai, said four Science students had approached him, and three of them were considering changing their stream. All these students were too afraid to tell their parents that they could not concentrate on their board exams after enrolling for coaching classes for engineering, he said.
City-based psychologist Dr Dayal Mirchandani said students had also been under a lot of pressure owing to the confusion regarding the medical entrance exams. “Students were already confused about whether to write NEET. Now, with poor results, they are worried about their future,” said Mirchandani.
Malik, too, said several students were worried that they would not be able to afford coaching classes for NEET even if they wanted to drop a year and take the test next year.
“Students need to understand that they have a sea of choices. They should not restrict their options to the traditional courses,” said Mirchandani.
He said that one of his patients had done poorly in his HSC exams but completed his undergraduate studies through a correspondence course from Indira Gandhi National Open University. Equipped with an additional computer course, his qualification is at par with an engineer now.
Another major concern among students was the result website, which had crashed on the day of the result.“Many students were worried that they could not access their results as the website had crashed,” said Sharma.
“I received calls from parents whose children were panic-stricken as the results were inaccessible,” said
He said some students were worried because their result had been withheld and they were asked to collect it from their schools. Results could be withheld for several reasons, such as a problem in the registration number, but students were worried nevertheless, he said.