Education August 15, 2020
Parents in Trichy urge government to promote their children with disabilities in class 10
Parents of students with disabilities studying in class 10 at Trichy in Tamil Nadu recently wrote a petition to the District Collector. While regular students were promoted based on class tests and internal assesement marks, children with disabilities have been asked to appear for exams next year. Parents want their children to be promoted and has demanded speedy action.
Online classes are the new norm. Students have accustomed themselves to learn from home. When it comes to exams, most states chose to cancel class 10 exams and promote students based on their internal assessment marks, class tests and other activities so that they do not have to physically attend the exams amidst a pandemic. But struggles for children with disabilities has just begun. Parents of disabled children in Trichy who had registered for class 10 this year, but not declared pass like other students have reached out to the District Collector. They have requested the top official to award them marks and promote them to higher classes.
Woes of students with disabilities
Not only were children who wrote privately not declared pass, but they were asked to appear for exams next year. Out of the 1186 private students in the district, at least 200 are children with various kinds of disabilities. Parents of these children are worried at the impartiality shown by officials where their kids have been detained for a year.
It is not just the parents, but officials from the education department also found this strange as regular students who did not appear for any examination was given a basic pass. But those who attended classes privately have been sidelined. This unfair treatment of disabled students calls for quick action.
Challenges faced by disabled students to attend classes and exams are many. Their woes have now increased.
Worrying move from officials
S Namburajan, General Secretary, Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently-Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC) says that some parents of children with disabilities have moved the Chennai and Madurai courts to promote their kids. “Children with disabilities cannot attend mainstream schools due to many reasons. This includes lack of proper transport systems for them and even inaccessibility in schools. It is not their wish to go as private applicants, but the government and society is forcing them to. It is unfortunate that they have to fight for their rights”, he says.
Namburajan points out the example of a 33-year-old visually impaired man from Tamil Nadu who was gearing up to appear for class 10 exams, but was denied the opportunity with exams being withheld due to the pandemic. “Mainstream students can pass without exams. But what are students like him going to do? If the government and education boards are refusing exams, at least promote them”, he says.
Joseph Sathyaraj, parent of a 15-year-old from Trichy told The Times of India, “Usually special children cannot go to regular schools. However, there are a few who attended school and appeared for quarterly and half yearly exams. But they were not awarded marks”.
The injustice towards disabled children needs to be brought to light. Students with disabilities must be given equal opportunities along with other regular students. That is when inclusion in education happens in its true sense.
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