It is timely and commendable that the High Court has directed the government to formulate specific rules for assessment of answer scripts of students with disabilities in public examinations, in line with the relevant sections of the Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act, 2013. Currently, students with disabilities face discrimination in public examinations in the absence of specific guidelines for assessing their answer scripts. While a student with Cerebral Palsy (CP) would have difficulty in writing clearly in the answer scripts because of their medical condition, a visually challenged person would face different kind of difficulties. If the examiners do not know that they are checking the answer script of a disabled student, how would they give marks judiciously?
While every year we observe International Day of Persons with Disabilities and National Disabled Day, the aim of which is to create awareness among people and extend support and provide adequate facilities to differently-abled persons, in terms of addressing the real needs of these people, we are still lagging behind. Although the government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2007 and formulated Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act in 2013, we have not achieved much in terms of implementation of the laws.
We have to make sure that persons with disabilities have equal rights like everyone else in the country. They should be given an environment where they would be able to prove their talents and should not be left out of the mainstream education. That’s why formation of specific rules for the students with disabilities is so important. We now hope that the government would implement the HC order as soon as possible.