The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) recently released a new circular to make the schools affiliated to the board, equally accessible to differently-abled children. The Board shared a detailed list of exemptions available for differently-abled students appearing for class 10 and 12 board exams. “Neither the schools nor the students are fully aware of these exemptions and are also not following the correct way of seeking available exemptions during their course of studies and examinations,” said CBSE. The changes are expected to be applicable for the 2020 CBSE examination.
The list of exemptions include:
Different answer booklet: Answer books of candidates with benchmark disabilities to be sent separately by the centre superintendents to the concerned regional office. A separate column is provided on the title page of the answer book for indicating the category of disability of the student who is attempting the exam.
Allowed items: While candidates are not allowed to take anything but admit card, pen, pencil et al, inside the exam hall; students belonging to PwD category will be permitted the use of a calculator, magnifying glass, portable video magnifier. Use of computers is also allowed for students for typing answers, however, proper and prior permissions are required in these cases.
Subject relaxations: Students belonging to PwD and PwBD category have an exemption from the third language course. They have the option of studying one compulsory language as against two for other children in class 10. Further, students can decide any four subjects from the two groups — Mathematics, Science, Social Science, another language, Music (anyone), Painting, Home Science, Elements of Business, Elements of Book Keeping and Accountancy, Computer Application and any one skill subject (except automotive).
Additionally, physiotherapy exercises are considered as equivalent to health and physical education course of the Board, as per the new circular.
Instructions for Schools: A series of instructions have been issued by CBSE for schools to follow –
Modify the existing physical infrastructure and teaching methodologies to meet the needs of all children including those with special needs, said CBSE. It asked schools to ensure that the school premises are made disabled friendly by 2020 and all educational institutions including hostels, libraries, laboratories and buildings have barrier-free access.
Availability of study material for the disabled and talking textbooks, reading machines and computers with speech software along with an adequate number of sign language interpreters, transcription services and a loop induction system for the students with speech-language disability.
Ensure regular in-service training of teachers in inclusive education at the elementary and secondary level.
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