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No Offline Exam for Differently-abled Class 10 Students for Now, Odisha Rights Body Directs

The petitioner said such a decision (holding offline exams) of the BSE was not only arbitrary but also intended to put the differently-abled students in utter difficulty during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Representational image)

The petitioner said such a decision (holding offline exams) of the BSE was not only arbitrary but also intended to put the differently-abled students in utter difficulty during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Representational image)

The rights panel warned that if anything untoward happens in the matter affecting the interest of the differently-abled students, it shall be the sole risk of the BSE and the officer concerned.

The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) directed the Board of Secondary Education (BSE) on Monday not to proceed with the offline examination of differently-abled students of class 10. The interim order came on a petition by rights activist Manoj Jena against the BSE’s decision to not declare the results of the High School Certificate (HSC) examination of 139 differently-abled students of special schools.

The OHRC wondered why the BSE was insisting on offline-mode examination of the differently-abled students when the result of lakhs of students of general schools had been published without any examination and based on the marks secured in classes 9 and 10. The BSE has decided to conduct the HSC examination of those who wished to take the written exam and of the 139 different-abled pupils of special school through the offline mode on July 30.

The petitioner said such a decision of the BSE was not only arbitrary but also intended to put the differently-abled students in utter difficulty during the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking a very serious view of the matter, the commission said it did not find any justification on part of the BSE for such a decision and termed it “surprising".

Pending the final decision on the matter, it asked the BSE secretary not to proceed with the offline examination of differently-abled students till the next date of hearing. The rights panel warned that if anything untoward happens in the matter affecting the interest of the differently-abled students, it shall be the sole risk of the BSE and the officer concerned.

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The OHRC posted the matter on August 6 for further hearing.

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first published:July 27, 2021, 11:21 IST