Observing that students with learning disability deserve sympathy and grace from authorities in their performance, the Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education to pass a girl who was detained in SSC for her failure to obtain minimum marks in an optional subject.
Bhamisha Singh, who appeared for SSC examination in March 2016, passed in all the subjects but was detained as she failed to obtain minimum passing marks in Information and Communication Technology, having secured 17 out of 50 marks.
The Board refused to consider her plea to pass her, saying that it did not have powers to extend this facility in SSC exam. However, the court asked the Board to pass her in view of the State’s policy which is to extend help to students with special needs or learning disability.
“Having perused even the reply of the Board, we are of the opinion that in the facts and circumstances and which are peculiar to this case, the Board could have condoned the failure of the petitioner in the optional subject,” said a bench headed by Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Dr Shalini Phansalkar Joshi, in a recent order.
“The petitioner’s performance in other subjects and which are compulsory cannot be said to be poor or below standards given her learning disability. She has performed satisfactorily in the other papers,” the Judges observed.
“True it is that this is a Board examination and which is for all students across the State. The (government) scheme cannot be extended and does not necessarily have the application to such examinations as are conducted by the Board,” the bench said.
“However, the Board could not have overlooked the underlying policy of encouraging such students and which is now a part and parcel of the Government Resolution dated 8th January, 2016, of Department of School Education and Sports.”
“Such students are now part and parcel of the broader concept devised by the State. They (such students) are now known as “Divyang” (disabled) and have some special requirements. The scheme under the Government Resolution is extended to such students from standards 1 to 12,” the bench observed.