UNESCO has estimated that 2% of the physically challenged children in the developing countries like India are fortunate enough to receive educational facilities. Their disability becomes a hurdle to higher education, a greater hurdle than the gender bias, economic conditions or backwardness. Therefore, we should be well aware of and carefully monitor the needs of special students before any Intervention program is designed and implemented. Every student’s unique requirements have to be customized while providing special educational facilities.
These children confront problems quite often out of their own complexes and they are afraid of the unknowns when coming out of their protected home environment. Sometimes they lack confidence and need to work hard and over to compete with the “abled students”.
Considering such problems, CBSE has come up with an idea of appointing special educators and counsellors for the disabled students. Besides the counselling facility available all the year round, there are many help lines opened before the crucial 10th and 12th board exams. The counsellors are available online or on telephone. They answer the queries of the disabled students as and when required. These special educators and the counsellors not only counsel the students but also sometimes try to remove the anxiety of the worried parents by relieving and removing their apprehensions and doubts. They also inform the facilities available to the students with special needs.
These counsellors and educators are trained especially to treat and pay attention to these children careful enough by the CBSE. They are also instructed the polite ways to talk with these children without getting irritated. Empathy along with love is the basic need of these children which is adequately taken care of.
And the students with learning disabilities have been comfortably counselled, encouraged and motivated to sit in the exams they are afraid of appearing. It is seen that the pressure of performance is released from their minds.
While keeping with the aims and objectives of National Education Policy and Sarv Shikhsa Abhiyan, the Central Board of Secondary Education has taken certain steps for the disabled students during the time of examinations.
Relaxations during the Examination and Study
Certain relaxations are given to the physically challenged, dyslexic and spastic students appearing for the exams. Students having learning disabilities can take breaks during the exam and those having dyslexia, blindness or autism can get a writer or Amanuensis for writing their exams. Sixty minute of extra time in each paper is given to these students. The students who have the problem of Dyscalculia are exempted from studying maths. Dyslexic/spastic/physically handicapped students have the option of studying one compulsory language as against two and any four subjects from the following:
- Mathematics, Science, Social Science, 2nd language
- (Music, Painting, Home Science and Introductory Information Technology)
- Physical therapy exercises are regarded equivalent to Physical and Health Education.
- Teachers are also given special training by the CBSE on the marking criteria for such children.
Such steps would surely prove beneficial and the number of disabled students appearing for the CBSE board exams, which merely is 1%, would definitely increase in times to come. Such reforms and measures are eminently desirable not only from the social but from the economic point of view as well. These students just need proper guidance and facilities for excellence in the areas of their inborn talents. And the country cannot and would never like to afford wastage of these talents just only because they are the victims of some kind of disability.