SSC exams: Despite new regulation, students with special needs struggle to find older writers

Mar 01, 2016, 07:10 IST | Pallavi Smart

It wasn’t long ago that the government issued a resolution allowing students with the need of writers to opt for older writers. But, on the contrary, parents of such students are still struggling to get writers, because state board has instructed school and examination centres to insist parents on having younger writers in order to avoid malpractices in examination. The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations begins on Tuesday, for which over 17 lakhs students are appearing from across Maharashtra.

According to a new set of regulations regarding facilities to be given to students with special needs, from this year onwards, writers who are older to the candidate will also be allowed. For Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations, there was just single such application as there was not enough awareness about the new regulation. But for SSC examinations, there are not many older writers helping students with special needs.

One such nervous parent told mid-day, “As the new regulations were out, we were much happy and relaxed. But, just when we started taking approval for writers from the school, we were asked several questions and were asked to come back with a younger writer.” A resident of Vikhroli, this parent is now working on fixing younger writers for his child, who has dyslexia.

Kate Currawala, president of Maharashtra Dyslexia Association, said, “The schools and exam center heads are given responsibility to look at specific cases of writers in order to approve a writer older to the candidate. We, as an association, have already raised objection against this facility as it may lead to malpractices, because of which genuine cases will suffer. Now, schools and boards are also fearing the same.”

Uday Nare, spokesperson for the Shikshak Bharati – a teachers’ collective, said, “When the regulations were released, it was mentioned that younger writers would still be preferred. When a school is going to approve if a child can be allowed an older writer, it is very important to verify the application in order to avoid malpractices.”

Siddheshwar Chandekar, secretary of the Mumbai division of state board, said, “We are yet insisting on younger writers because that is the way to avoid malpractices. The new regulations also insist on younger writers and allowing older writers in extreme cases. This may be misunderstood and everybody will come with an application for an older writer. This way then it will be difficult to ensure that the said facility is not being misused.”

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