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CISCE releases revised guidelines for students with diverse learning needs

February 28, 2024
Reshma Ravishanker 

The Council for The Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has released a new set of guidelines to support children with diverse learning needs to include aspects of support to be offered to such students during examinations.

The new set of guidelines ‘CISCE Guidelines for Comprehensive Support Measures in Examinations: Concessions and Benefits for Diverse Needs Learners’ has expanded the scope even further.
“It has been customary to provide concessions and benefits for students with benchmark disabilities as covered by the RPwD Act 2016. However, recognising the evolving landscape of learning needs and the limitations of relying solely on disability classifications mentioned in the Act, the CISCE has taken a landmark decision to expand the scope of its Guidelines to include learning needs associated with disability conditions not falling under benchmark disability status, and Borderline Intellectual Functioning (BIF).

“The CISCE aims to create a more inclusive and supportive learning environment for all students by encompassing these diverse learning needs,” an official note from the CISCE reads.

Among the significant changes are delineation of category-wise concessions and accommodations to ensure targeted and tailored support. The compensatory time during exams is extended from 15 to 20 minutes in alignment with recent national mandates and guidelines. Students with diverse needs can also avail relaxation in attendance based on individual case need.

The board is also contemplating allowing better access to assistive and adaptive devices, such as communication tools, for students in their accustomed learning format.

“Special consideration for students on Autism Spectrum Conditions for prior access to examination rooms and seating and provisions for ensuring rapport- building with their respective reader/reader cum writer/writer/adult prompter. Additionally, earplugs/earmuffs are to be made available to students with Autism Spectrum Conditions to manage environmental distractions,” the revised guidelines read. 

Also read: CISCE empowers educators to create future-ready learning environments

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