Volume 4 Issue 15 - August 01, 2006

Bombay H.C. directs schools to abide by guidelines for dyslexic students

D.N.I.S. News Network - In a landmark judgement, the Bombay High Court (H.C.) has directed all schools in Maharashtra to abide strictly by the guidelines for dyslexic students. The guidelines are for students with learning disabilities studying between Class I and X, in schools affiliated to S.S.C., I.C.S.E. and C.B.S.E.

To ensure total compliance, a Division Bench of Justice R. M. Lodha and Justice N. H. Patil has stated that any school that failed to provide facilities to such students could face contempt of court.

This judgment, for the first time, acts as a deterrent for schools that have refused to deal sensitively with students with learning disabilities like dyslexia (reading), dysgraphia (writing) and dyscalculia (mathematics).

The Court’s orders were in relation to two P.I.L.s filed last year by parents Vincy D’Silva and Robin Machado against St. Mary’s School, Byculla, and Atomic Energy Central School, Anushakti Nagar, respectively, after their children, suffering from dyslexia, were detained in their standard without notice.

The Court order makes it mandatory for schools to screen students who fail to do well in examinations because of learning disabilities. In case a learning disability is suspected, the students, in consultation with their parents, could be sent for examination to a neurologist or psychologist or a special educator. Once a learning disability is confirmed, the school has to compulsorily provide facilities to the student free of cost. The committee had also recommended concessions for these students such as 25 per cent extra time during exams, provision for readers/writers, and had stressed on oral examination along with written exams.

On June 23, an expert committee appointed by the Maharashtra Government had recommended that compulsory training be imparted to teachers for handling dyslexic students. Its main recommendation was to integrate these students into regular schooling.

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