Special counsellors for special students
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has, for the first time, introduced special educators to answer queries of differently-abled students preparing for the Board exams.
These counsellors have been available on the phone since the beginning of February and will continue to do so till April 2. The new initiative was launched keeping in mind specific needs of this category of students.
“The special educators have an edge over the other counsellors as they have been trained to handle queries and cases specifically asked or cited by the students with special needs. And its not just students, but even parents of such candidates have several queries about the concessions available to their children. This is nothing but an effort on the part of CBSE to make the helpline more student-friendly,” said Rama Sharma, CBSE public relations officer.
Currently, the Board has a team of four special educators. While three counsellors are in Mumbai, one operates from the Capital.
“One needs a lot of patience while dealing with problems put forward by the physically challenged or children with special needs. It’s important to boost their confidence and morale around this time, which is usually low,” said M.R. Shipley, a special educator in Mumbai.
The CBSE has also tried to reach out to these children by adding another concession to the list of existing ones this year. The Board has decided to waive the fee paid by the these candidates for using the help of an amanuensis (writer) during the Class X or XII Board exams.
Last year, CBSE had announced that additional time was to be provided for an exam taken by a special category students.