As Seema Kharad awaits the surprise sweet dish prepared by her mother to celebrate her result in the Maharashtra Board HSC exams, in which she scored 88 per cent, she also says that she is uncertain and confused about her future. The 19-year-old visually-impaired student of Arts stream from Fergusson College’s junior wing said the new method of online classes will present newer hurdles, which will not be easy to cross.
“I am very happy with the result I have got as I have been working hard towards it. Now, I am figuring out which subject to opt for in my Bachelor’s, and also prepare for the civil services exam as I aspire to become an IAS officer. However, there are very few Braille books and audio material available for us in the market to prepare for the exams. I am also unclear about my subject choices as I do not know whether I will be able to cope with the online classes. I fear that I may not be able to get through with the classes,” says Kharad.
Praneet Kumar Gupta, a visually-impaired Commerce student from Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce (BMCC), who secured 86.46 per cent in HSC exams, also said that while he could figure out the subjects of Maths and Accounts in a classroom set-up, it might be difficult to understand the subjects online. “As far as theoretical subjects are concerned, they can be comprehended by listening, but for subjects that require the use of boards and pictorial diagrams, it will not be possible for us to catch up easily,” he says.
The 19-year-old Bal Shree Honour nominee for percussion also pointed out that he aspires to become a chartered accountant, but online coaching classes may neglect the special needs of visually-impaired students. “Coaching batches usually have a lot of students at the same time. While with offline classes we can have a scope to clear our doubts, online it might not be so. We may require personal attention to get the doubts clarified. I would require a personal coach to prepare for the upcoming exams but that is not possible right now and we have also lost out on crucial preparation time,” says Gupta.
Devanshu Ramesh, a visually-impaired student who got 73.5 per cent in the Commerce stream, said the lockdown has made it more difficult for students like him to get access to courses. “I wanted to join classes for my CA examinations as well as join a C++ course during the holidays. We need to touch and feel objects to understand… but that is not possible right now,” he says.
With 84.6 percent in Commerce, Shruti Mahavir Banthiya of BMCC, a disabled student, said that while she wished to go for classes to help her with her banking entrance exams, she opted for online classes for German language. “I could not go out, so I had to seek options online. It is a new experience for me and I am still figuring it out,” she said.
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