In India, most of the educational institutions do not allow the use of calculators in exams. Students are deprived of the basic calculating instrument because it is meant to improve the calculating power of students and to make them self-dependent instead of dependents on external items. Due to this, specially-abled students are often left behind. To overcome this challenge CBSE allows the use of calculators during the Board Exam.
Students with special abilities appearing for 10th and 12th boards this year will be allowed to use basic calculators in the examination. Also, back In 2018, the board had allowed the specially-abled students to use laptops and computers too.
CBSE sent a letter to schools informing the same. In the letter, CBSE Controller for Examination Sanyam Bhardwaj said: “The board has decided to facilitate students under Children with Special Needs (CSWN) category by permitting the use of a simple basic calculator during Class X and Class XII board examination”.
“The calculator will only be allowed to those students who have already been registered under the CWSN category for the 2020 examination,” he added.
“Candidates who will request without an appropriate certificate will not be allowed to use a calculator during examinations,” Bhardwaj said.
The students who want to benefit from the recent rule introduced will have to request the school authority by January 28 and the principal will have to forward it to the concerned CBSE Regional office by February 2. Then the Regional office will send final approval to the school/exam center superintendent and the student would be permitted to use the basic calculator during the exams.
There have been different views coming on this topic from every other person and let’s take a look at a few of them:
Shilpee Ganguly, principal of Centre Point School (Katol Road), said “I have always been a votary for use of calculators even for physics or chemistry because some of the ways we do our calculations are horrendous with no learning. Some of the calculations which they do in physics have no enrichment value.”
Anmol Badjatia, principal of Jain International School, said, “This is a fantastic move by CBSE because it will help students in learning more life skills. Students with dyscalculia do understand numbers but struggle in operations. So if they can get some help in the operations part, it will mean a lot to them.”
Dr. Rajiv Mohta, a well known adolescent counselor and the pediatrician said, “This will be a big help for students with dyscalculia. They get confused with numbers and having a calculator will at least make it a level playing field.”
There is no such rule in Maharashtra state board, but they provide other relaxations to such students. Ravikant Deshpande, Nagpur division chairman for the state board, said, “No calculators are allowed but we give them extra time to complete the paper.”
Apart from the use of calculators, the ICSE board even allows specially-abled to drop math even in the tenth standard. They could choose something like environmental science or any other subject which would be beneficial for any student not good at maths.
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