Parents of differently-abled students, who are going to appear for Class 10 and Class 12 exams conducted by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) from April, complained that instead of granting writers, the NIOS has sent them a letter granting the students an extra hour for these exams.
The Class 10 exams will start from April 10.
The parents said they received a l etter f rom t he regional director, NIOS, Pune on March 25, granting extra time instead of a writer.
A parent f rom Andheri (East), on a condition of anonymity, said, “While exams will start in less than two weeks, it will be difficult for our children to prepare for it with the new rule. They are trained to answer orally to the writer. The same students, who are certified by competent medical authorities and the NIOS board, were granted writers in April 2014 and October 2014 examinations.”
Despite being contacted several times by HT, NIOS officials were not available for comment.
The children, who will appear for this exam suffer from different disabilities such as autism, learning disability, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, mental retardation and slow learning.
The parents have written to the secretary, Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Children asking to intervene in the matter. However, school principals said that the NIOS board has asked for time to reconsider their decision.
Sudeshna Chatterjee, principal Jamnabai Narsee School, Juhu said, “The NIOS board officials have given the parents a patient hearing on individual basis. They have asked for time to reconsider and convey their decision to the parents.”
Experts said t hat it is a violation of child rights and demanded that officials concerned should be punished.
Psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty said, “Denying a writer’s facilities to these children is a crime. Such situations have also happened on the past causing a lot of mental health burden on parents.”