Central Board of Secondary Education recommends introducing Braille as a subject for special kids

New Delhi: CBSE has proposed radical reforms in its comprehensive guidelines for students with special needs, including Indian sign language or Braille “as a subject”, computer-based tests, attendance waivers, multi-difficulty-level options for core subjects, and flexible subject selection options.

“Some of the key recommendations include introducing Indian sign language as a subject for children with language limitations due to disability conditions. Such children may also be given exemptions from the already existing criteria of two/one compulsory languages in board examinations and Indian sign language should be treated as a language to satisfy the formula prescribed by the board. On similar lines, Braille can also be offered as a language option,” a senior HRD official said.

The Central Board of Secondary Education has written to all states and other stakeholders for their comments on the policy draft which the ministry of human resource development is likely to take up as a model for the country. The board has said in the draft policy that teaching, learning and examinations can be made accessible with the use of technology but the major issue currently is a lack of resources.

In its academic and examination recommendations, the board proposes introducing the option of more subjects at the secondary and senior secondary levels which are skill-based, and two or three difficulty levels in core subjects such as mathematics, science and social studies at the secondary level. It has proposed different subject combinations at the senior secondary level. For students with mobility issues, CBSE has recommended “creation of online class content for all children who are unable to visit classrooms. Attendance requirements in cases of children with severe disabilities like cancer or/and living in remote locations and those with severe physical disabilities can be waived. They can also fill out their tests after each session online,” the official said.

Envisioning a uniform system for special needs children so that they may take examinations in the same pattern, CBSE invited 46 stakeholders for consultations.

Twenty education boards, the National Council of Educational Research and Training, National Institute of Open Schooling, Rehabilitation Council of India, ministry of social justice, the National Book Trust, the office of the chief commissioner for persons with disabilities, Alipur SDM Ira Singhal, the IAS 2015 topper who is also differently abled, the National Institute of the Deaf and Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust participated in the session of July 4 to prepare draft policy.

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