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Significant increase in the number of disabled students taking board exams but is it a premature celebration?

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: The Central Board of Secondary Education (C.B.S.E.) said that there has been nearly 33 percent increase in the number of students with disabilities taking the Secondary School Examination and the Senior School Certificate Examination this year as compared to 2010. However, a closer look at the figures tell us that the larger picture is still as grim as ever. Students with disabilities make up barely 0.24 percent of the total student population taking these examinations and finishing high school!

In 2010, a total of 1891 students with disabilities appeared for the Secondary School Examination. This year, this figure has gone up to 2537 - an increase of almost 34 percent. Similarly, a total of 1306 students with disabilities appeared for the Senior School Certificate Examination in 2010. Compared to that, this year a total of 1698 students with disabilities are appearing for this examination. This means an increase of 30 percent over last year.

If we look at the overall scenario, in 2010, a total of 902517 students appeared for the Secondary School Examination. Out of this, only 1891 were students with disabilities. This means a mere 0.21 percent! In 2011, a total of 1061566 students appeared for the same examination. Out of this, only 2537 are students with disabilities which means 0.24 percent! Therefore, the percentage of students with disabilities who took this examination compared to the total number of students has remained almost unchanged.

As far as the Senior School Certificate Examination (Class 12th) is concerned, 699129 students appeared for it in 2010. Out of those, only 1306 were disabled students. A dismal 0.19 percent. In 2011, a total of 769929 have appeared for the examination, out of which only 1698 are students with disabilities. A mere 0.22 percent.

Click here to read C.B.S.E.ís Press Note in full