Waiving off the NIOS Board Exam 2020 for students with Special Needs in Light of COVID -19

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In light of the pandemic caused due to COVID-19, the special children, on the autistic spectrum and other learning disabilities are being faced with several challenges.

This is in regard to special children who will be sitting for their National Institute for Open Schooling (NIOS) Board Examinations to be conducted in Summer' 2020. These are students who take the exams with the help of scribes/readers due to their various disabilities. It is pertinent to note that many of these students also have severely affected immunity systems making them prone to illnesses and considering the situation at hand it will be unreasonable to mandate these students to sit in crowded examination centres and take the examination while risking their health and well-being. Furthermore, these students will also be requiring a scribe with whom these children will have to sit in close proximity making it an impractical proposition for both the student and the scribe.

The special children are already under immense anxiety and distress caused due to the pandemic and are requiring counselling and constant reassurance to adapt to the new lifestyle and given the prediction of the growth of the pandemic the situation is unlikely to remarkably improve in the coming months.

In view of the same, we, the parents of the special children, request you to use your good conscience and support us in enabling the Ministry of Human Resource Development to waive off the NIOS Board Examination to be conducted in 2020 for students with special needs and to grade and promote the students on the basis of the grades attained by them in Tutor Marked Assignments and Practical Examination conducted in March' 2020. The required documentation, medical and disability certificates of the students will be submitted to the concerned offices to ensure the bonafide of the students.

We believe that this will both protect these students, under the disability law provisions, and also help them tide over the ongoing health crisis caused due to COVID-19. It takes a village to bring up a child, and in the case of our special children, the entire country to help and protect them.