For the first time ever, CBSE will allow the use of calculators starting this year exams for students with dyscalculia (difficulty in learning or comprehending arithmetic). This facility can be availed only by those students who have already registered themselves under the “children with special needs” (CWSN) category for the exams.
The board has specified that only a ‘simple basic calculator’ can be used. But the facility to use calculator is not a default option for students with dyscalculia, rather they will have to apply for it specifically. By January 28, students will have to apply in writing to their principals following which the request has to be forwarded to the regional office (RO) concerned by February 2. The RO will then send a final approval to school/exam centre superintendent.
Principals of various institutions have welcomed the move by the board and will help students who have a disadvantage when it comes to numbers.
Mrs. Ganguly, principal of Centre Point School (Katol Road), who also teaches physics in Std XII, said “I have always been a votary for use of calculators even for physics or chemistry because some of the ways we do our calculations are absolutely horrendous with no learning. Some of the calculations which they do in physics have no enrichment value.”
Mr. Badjatia, principal of Jain International School, said, “This is a fantastic move by CBSE because it will help students in learning more life skills. Students with dyscalculia do understand numbers, but struggle in operations. So if they can get some help in the operations part, it will mean a lot to them.”
Dr Rajiv Mohta, counsellor and paediatrician said, “This will be a big help for students with dyscalculia. They get confused with numbers and having a calculator will at least make it a level playing field.”
Ravikant Deshpande, Nagpur division chairman for the Maharashtra state board, said, “No calculators are allowed but we give them extra time to complete the paper.”
Raziya Hussain, principal of MSB Institute, from CISCE board said, “Apart from the use of calculators for students suffering from dyscalculia, our board even allows them to drop math even in Std X. There is no point in a student struggling with math, when they could choose something like environmental science etc,”
The CBSE Board had in 2018 allowed specially abled students to use computer or laptops to write their exam.