Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Jan 1, 2024, started free psychological sessions for students and parents to ensure a stress-free environment ahead of the 2024 board examinations. A helpline number, 1800-11-8004, is dedicated to this cause.
The helpline aims to inform and educate parents and students about tips for preparations, important links and the phone numbers of exam controllers. In addition to this, it also connects the students and teachers with a free counsellor.
To confirm if the helpline is active and does what it claims, The Free Press Journal (FPJ) tried calling the number.
The helpline offers support in both English and Hindi, with six dedicated options for callers to choose from and be directed accordingly.
On the second day of the service, the numbers provided for the coordinators and exam controllers were received by officers who were clueless about the helpline number and its service. They simply directed the FPJ to check the website for further information. However, on the fourth day, the officers seemed to have gained some idea of what the helpline service was about. But, they refused to provide any information regarding the data of the students.
Furthermore, contact details for regional officers, including phone numbers and emails, are provided for inquiries about exam centres, sample papers, and other relevant information.
The regional office for Maharashtra is located in Pune. Unfortunately, attempts to reach the office were unsuccessful as the provided phone numbers were not responsive despite multiple efforts from different phone lines.
The CBSE also has a specific section for providing valuable advice to callers. This section is divided into separate tips for students and parents, offering general suggestions on preparation, dietary habits, and dos and don'ts. Parents are encouraged not to pressure their children, but to support them and build their confidence.
The number also provided the callers with various links related to sample papers and assistance for exam centres.
The counsellor was easily reachable via the toll-free number and willingly addressed all queries. Students or parents who need counselling before exams can opt to contact the number.
However, the CBSE officials refused to give the data on the number of calls they have been receiving or the nature of the calls.