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Visually impaired students of Pune varsity may give exam in audio format from 2019-20

The is a first-of-its-kind initiative by Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) wherein students can talk and record their answers for the examinations

pune Updated: May 16, 2019 16:22 IST
Dheeraj Bengrut
Dheeraj Bengrut
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Visually impaired students,Pune varsity
The varsity’s education and extension department has forwarded the proposal to the board of examination.(HT/PHOTO)

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) may soon allow the visually impaired students to talk and record their answers for the examinations they appear in an audio mode answer sheet format. The varsity’s education and extension department has forwarded the proposal to the board of examination. The model will be the first to be implemented in the state by any university and is largely used in western countries and the US.

“The technology and the screen reading software are available. Students can access the question paper through the screen reading paper and record the answer through an audio output device. Hence, through advances in technology, the answer sheet of a visually impaired student will be in an audio file. Later, the examiner will listen to the recorded answers of students and assess it,” said Sanjeev Sonawane, director, education and extension department of Savitribai Phule Pune University.

Giving details of the model, Sonawane said, “Initially, we will identify the examination centres in Pune where the college staffers will be trained to record and save the answer sheet and how it will be transferred to the central assessment programme (CAP) centre. We are going to do this procedural things step wise by preparing a small booklet that will be given to the staffers at the identified centres. We are also thinking to provide the technology of giving audio answers to the centres at the initial stage itself for the colleges to later develop their own centres.”

There are currently three types of options given to visually impaired students who appear for exams —computer typing, taking a writer and using Braille answer sheet format. Now the fourth option of audio recording may also be available to them.

“The varsity’s board of examination is already considering our proposal. We hope to get it cleared and introduce it from next academic year (2019-20). At the time of filling the examination form, there will be a different form for visually impaired students where their details, including subjects chosen and exam centre, will be recorded, and which option they have given for mode of answer. So, if we have the data we can make the necessary arrangements for the examinations. It will be one of direct assessment of students and hope that it will be a successful model and change the examination system for the better and student-friendly.” Sonawane said.

First Published: May 16, 2019 16:21 IST