More compensatory time, inclusion of disabilites beyond benchmark: CISCE guidelines for PwD students

CISCE will be providing attendance relaxation as part of revised guidelines for students with disabilities starting from 2025.

CISCE revises ‘Guidelines for Comprehensive Support Measures in Examinations: Concessions and benefits for Diverse Needs Learners’. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)CISCE revises ‘Guidelines for Comprehensive Support Measures in Examinations: Concessions and benefits for Diverse Needs Learners’. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Vagisha Kaushik | February 28, 2024 | 05:16 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Starting from examination year 2025, the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has decided to extend support to ISC, ICSE students with disabilities by providing extra compensatory time and inclusion of Borderline Intellectual Function (BIF) as well as disabilities not falling under the benchmark disability status.

The council has revised the ‘Guidelines for Comprehensive Support Measures in Examinations: Concessions and benefits for Diverse Needs Learners’ in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

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As part of the revised guidelines, Class 10, 12 students having disabilities will be provided with compensatory time of 20 minutes, instead of 15, in exams; relaxation in attendance on a case-to-case basis; broader access to electronic devices.

Special consideration has also been given to allow Autistic students prior access to exam hall and seating to ensure rapport building with their reader, writer, or prompter. Such students will also be provided with earplugs to avoid environment distractions during the exams.

Disability-wise benefits

In order to classify the benefits and concessions provided to students with disabilities, the council has clubbed the conditions under eight major categories.

“It has been customary to provide concessions and benefits for students with benchmark disabilities as covered by the PRwD Act 2016. However, recognising the evolving landscape of learning needs and the limitations of relying solely on disability classifications mentioned in the Act, CISCE has taken a landmark decision to expand the scope of guidelines to include learning needs associated with disability conditions not falling under benchmark disability status, and Borderline Intellectual Functioning (BIF),” CISCE said.

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Explaining the BIF condition, the council explained that these students have an intellectual quotient (IQ) ranging from 70 to 85, or 71 to 84 which puts them beyond the threshold for intellectual impairment (69 and below) but they are still at a lower end of normal intelligence. Besides, they neither fall under the category of Intellectual Disability (IQ below 69) nor Specific Learning Disability.

“The CISCE recognises the importance of providing all these groups with suitable educational assistance and accommodations to address their learning challenges,” it added.

The CISCE guidelines for students with disabilities include details on benefits and concessions provided to students based on their disability at the time of learning as well as during the exams.

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