Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education has decided to start a helpline for students appearing for SSC and HSC examinations. This helpline will serve as a basic information provider. However, the steps taken for autistic kids have drawn criticism from professionals who demand expert people for this purpose.
Helpline number 27893756 has been started from February 15 and is on from 8 am to 9 pm daily. The state board has also announced that its website, www.sscboardmumbai. in, will be providing all the information related to upcoming SSC and HSC examinations to solve any problem faced by students.
RR Bhise, divisional secretary, State Board, Mumbai, said, “Both kids and parents can avail the helpline facility. The website will also help them. At the same time, separate guidelines have been issued for autistic kids appearing for the exams. They will be allotted exam centres which will be convenient for them to reach. Further, such students will be given 20 minutes extra per hour. Though such kids will be allowed to use a calculator, the condition is that it should not be attached to any of the other facilities like a mobile phone.”
Kader Bux’, a parent said, “Such practices really help a lot. Initially at our time, it was all last moment running to find whatsoever we wanted. This techno system has given a great sigh of relief to us, parents as well as students who are under stress and run from here and there at this time.”
Shirish Poojary, Founder and Principal, Swami Brahmanand Pratisthan, Centre for Special Children said, “Providing extra twenty minutes is not a solution. Each Autistic kid is different from other. Their ability is far different, it is only the professionals who can decide what extra time the kid needs, in few cases there is no time limit. Twenty minutes will not help. The board must appoint or consider suggestions from some high-end professionals before deciding such things.”