Mumbai: Visually-impaired HSC student to take exams aided by 'talking' computer

01:48 AM Feb 16, 2020 |
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Mumbai: A visually-impaired student from the T P Bhatia College of Science, Kandivli West, Bhavya Shah, will appear for his Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) Class 12 board examinations using a 'talking' computer, provided by the state board. Assisted by a reader and this tech support, Shah, a Science student, will be able to 'write' his papers. The exams are scheduled to begin from Tuesday.

Unlike other students, who will use answersheets during the exam, Shah will type out his answers on a computer screen at his centre in Prakash College, Kandivli West. Shah has been assigned a reader who is a science student of Class 11, from his college. The reader will read out the questions to Shah, who will then type his answers on the computer. The computer is equipped with software which will read back the answers to him, so that he can listen and make corrections, wherever required.

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Shah has been working hard to prepare for his examinations, according to Sangeeta Srivastava, Principal, T P Bhatia College. She said, “Bhavya is dedicated to his studies and knows what he wants to do after HSC. He scored 96.8 per cent in his Class 10 CBSE board and has been preparing every day for his Class 12 exams.”

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An illness he suffered when in Class 5 caused him to lose his vision, said Srivastava. “Shah faces several difficulties in daily learning as he is 100 per cent blind. However, he is a very determined student, with great listening abilities. We appreciate how the state board has stepped in to help, as this will make it easy for Bhavya to take the exams,” she said.

Officials of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE), Mumbai division, revealed they are trying to help students with special needs. Sandeep Sangve, secretary, MSBSHSE, Mumbai division, said, “Students with special needs have different challenges. We want to help them so that they have a fair chance to appear for the examinations. Along with the talkback computer software, Shah will also be given other facilities, like extra time, as per the provisions of the board for students with special needs.”

Once Shah has finished typing in his answers, a printout of his work will be taken and added to the rest of the answersheets collected for assessment. Shah aims to pursue a career in research and chemistry, as he scored 96 per cent in the Joint Entrance Examination, (JEE) Main test.

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