In May this year, Score Foundation received a call via our helpdesk from an individual with visual impairment who is taking the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) on 26 June 2011. The caller brought it to our attention that no provision was mentioned in the advertisement, or the application, for scribes to be provided to candidates with visual impairment.
We are advocating for proper exam provisions to be put in place for all disabled students undertaking the Central Teacher Eligibility Test on 26 June 2011. As a result of our continuous follow up, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has agreed to the following:
- Scribes will be provided on the day of the examination for those disabled candidates that require a scribe
- Half an hour's extra time will be given to all disabled candidates using a scribe (the total exam is one and a half hours)
- Visually impaired candidates will be exempt from the graphic questions
- The CBSE has issued a which states that extra time will be given and that candidates requiring a scribe need to provide either their disability certificate or written note from a Medical Officer a day in advance of the exam
However, we are still lobbying for the following provisions to be put in place:
- Candidates to be allowed to provide their own scribes (in accordance with guidelines agreed by CBSE)
- Notification for Visually Impaired Candidates to be sent out to candidates and Examination Centres well in advance of the examination (it was published on their website just a week in advance of the exam and has not been individually circulated to candidates)
- Hall passes to contain clear information for disabled candidates on the provisions available to them and how to obtain them
We have been working with the Human Rights Law Network to look at possible further actions that can be taken to progress the matter and work with them on producing a set of standardized guidelines that could be applied to all government and public sector professional examinations.
On 25 June 2011, a hearing at Delhi High Court took place between Score Foundation and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) regarding the provisions given to disabled candidates undertaking the Central Teacher Eligibility Test on 26 June 2011.
Score Foundation and Prateek Jain, a candidate appearing for the CTET on Sunday, approached the court for quashing the advertisement issued by the CBSE on 9 April 2011. The advertisement had not mentioned any measures, such as providing visually impaired candidates with scribes and extra time to undertake the examination.
Score Foundation’s request that the advertisement be quashed and the exam be stayed until the proper provisions and guidelines for disabled candidates were in place was refused. However, the court ordered that CBSE should ensure that scribes are provided in all centres, or, in case there is a shortage of scribes at the examination centre, the candidates should be allowed to bring their own scribes.
The court directed that CBSE publish the news about provisions for disabled candidates in the media. CBSE is also required to inform all centre superintendents to provide the necessary provisions to the disabled candidate on the basis of disability certificate produced at the time of the examination, after producing the admit card.