The Central Board of School Education (CBSE) has proposed to provide specific exemptions to differently-abled students in the board examinations in accordance with their needs and also said it was committed to shifting to the online mode of examination for such children. In a report submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the CBSE has said that the draft policy will be presented in the upcoming winter session before its Curriculum Committee and after clearance it will submitted to the Governing Body for final approval.
The High Court had, earlier this year, directed the CBSE to prepare a comprehensive policy for addressing the challenges being faced by the differently-abled children. The Board, in the draft policy, has said that the teaching, learning and examinations can be made accessible with the use of technology but the major issue currently is the lack of resources.
The students with physical disabilities (visual Impairment, hearing impairment and speech and language disability); intellectual disabilities (specific learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder); mental illnesses leading to emotional problems and disability caused due to the chronic neurological conditions, blood disorder and multiple disabilities will be provided exemptions, according to the draft policy.
The exemptions like providing flexibility in choosing subjects, examination through computers, allocation of centre of examinations at nearest possible place to the school, relaxation in attendance, waving off registration fees for class X and Class XII examination and changes in the classroom infrastructure are common to most of the categories.
Leprosy-cured persons with loss of sensation or extreme physical deformity, acid attack victims and students with mental illnesses, other than retardation, like disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory have also been included the categories under which the students will be provided exemptions in the examinations.
The draft policy also has provisions for providing alternative short questions instead of the descriptive or very long questions in the examinations for certain categories of students. In the 96-page report, the CBSE has also said that it will ascertain measures to prevent misuse of the exemptions which will be provided by it.
“The sudden rise in number of children with disability is being observed in past during examinations. It is serious concern of the Board to condemn such malpractices,” the report reads.
The CBSE in the report has also said that in cases of severe medical emergencies for the children with disabilities, they can also be directly allowed to register for the Class X and Class XII examinations without passing the Class IX and Class XI examinations. “However, the cases need to be informed to the Board by the school, with verified reports by parents and the school authority, at the beginning of the session,” the report reads.