The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has announced that students with type-1 diabetes will now be allowed to take a mid-exam snack during the class 10 and 12 board exams. The move comes after Dr Ashok Jhingan, chairperson of the Delhi Diabetes Research Centre, approached the board with the results of a study conducted on Kendriya Vidyalaya students.
For the study, four Kendriya Vidyalaya schools had allowed their students with type-1 diabetes to have a mid exam snack, TOI reported. It was found that type-1 patients, who depend on insulin injections, suffer from headaches, irritability, restlessness and confusion when they have to wait for two long between snacks. This happens due to imbalanced or low sugar levels.
“These children need insulin half an hour before eating, which means between 6.30 am and 7.30 am,” Dr Jhingan said, “Without the snack between 9am and 10am, their sugar level could drop, leaving them irritable and unable to concentrate on their studies.”
He added that schools generally allow such students to have a light snack after two hours to prevent their sugar levels from falling. The study also found that many students face similar problems and tend to leave the exam hall an hour early.
“If the exam starts at 10 am, then it means the children have their insulin shots at around 8.30 am,” Jhingan said. He said that there is a decrease in the performance level of the diabetic students after 11 am for a three hour-long exam beginning at 10 am.
The CBSE will send out a notice of diabetic students being allowed to have snacks 90 minutes into the exam, according to TOI. The board may also advise school principals to allow the same during regular school hours, the way it is practice in the United States.
“We are working out the details,” RK Chaturvedi, chairman of CBSE, said, “We will probably issue a detailed circular on the matter in the coming week.” There are four lakh students in India with Type-1 diabetes, 14,000 of whom stay in the National Capital Region (NCR).