While state board exams are just around the corner, the future of several physically and mentally disabled students hangs in the balance as their hassled parents run from pillar to post to get them a writer (who writes on behalf on the disabled student) for their tests. Since the board does not provide writers, parents have to source them on their own, and also deal with the risk of them backing out at the last moment.
Does the board provide writers to disabled students?
No. Parents of disabled students have to source writers on their own. Ideally, they should do it at the time when the students are applying for their hall tickets, when they have to provide the writer’s details and an approval letter from his/her school. If a disabled student manages to find a writer at the last moment, he/she must get the permission of the chief centre in-charge (responsible for all exam centres in a particular area) prior to the exam. This highlights the trouble parents face if they haven’t found a writer for their child till the last minute.
What are the rules that parents need to follow?
According to the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE), for a student writing the SSC exam (10th standard), the writer should be a 9th standard student, while for a student writing the HSC exam (12th standard), the writer should be an 11th standard student. A blind student or any other learning disabled student who have the provision of taking a standard 7 math paper for their SSC exams, are allowed to have a 6th standard writer for the exam.
What is the writer backs out at the last minute?
S Y Chandekar, secretary of the Mumbai Divisional Board, said, “If the writer does not turn up at the last minute, the disabled student needs to immediately inform his/her school or college to arrange for another writer.” Parents have to bear the brunt of a writer dropping out at the last minute.
What other problems do disabled students face?
Another major problem they face is that their exams may clash with those of their writers (during the February or March period).
A parent who is still looking for a writer for her daughter who has a learning disability and is due to appear for her HSC exams, said “I am frantically searching on social networking sites. We had a writer, but she suddenly dropped the idea due to some personal problems.”
When does the exam centre provide the writer?
Laxmikant Pandey, chairman of the Mumbai divisional board, said, “If the exam centre finds the writer suspicious, it can provide it own writer to the disabled child.”
Keep a writer on standby, advises principal
Sapna Durve, vice principal of Mithibai College, Vile Parle, said, “Students should make sure there is another writer on stand by if the original writer fails to reach the centre. The exam centre is not a bank where writers can be provided at last moment.”