Maths, Science trouble visually impaired

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Maths, Science trouble visually impaired

Dec 2, 2014-

Visually impaired students preparing for School Leaving Certificate examinations have asked the government to make mathematics and science optional subjects reasoning that grasping the subjects is tough for them in the lack of trained teachers and adequate study materials.

The SLC exams for the current academic session start on March 19 next year. They complain that they have to rely on audio clips even for the study of mathematics as they did not get textbooks and practice books on time and qualified teachers are not in their reach.

At a programme organised by the Nepal Association of the Blind (NAB), they said it is impossible to learn figures and diagrams from geometry through audio clips. “We manage to learn theories with the help of audio materials but understanding numerals and figures is very tough,” said Roshani Adhikari, a tenth grader from Laboratory School, Kirtipur. What is worse, SLC question papers are not in Braille. It took Adhikari several months to get all the Braille books while she is still looking for Braille math practice books and science numerical sections. The NAB reported last year that 60 percent students receive Braille textbooks at the begging of the academic session while the remaining ones wait months for them.

According to NDB Director Amrit Rai, out the 110 visually impaired students who sat the SLC exams last year, 29 failed, 75 percent of them either in Mathematics or Science or both. Citing that India has made the two technical subjects optional following complaints from students, he asked the government to follow suit.

Various states in India have adopted flexible measures for special-need students allowing them to drop Science and Math in favour of health and home sciences.

The students have also demanded grade 9 students as their scribes. Only the eighth graders are allowed now. “Grade 8 students don’t understand Class 10 technical terms and numerals,” said Samjhana Rijal from Namuna Machchhindra School, Lalitpur.

As many as 1,350 visually impaired students are studying in 78 community schools across the country. About 100 of them are taking the SLC exam next year.

Grading plan for tech studies

The Office of the Controller of Examinations is planning to introduce grading system for students from technical categories who are sitting the SLC exams for the first time in April. According to Exams Controller Bishnu Bahadur Dware, the system is a pilot project which would be introduced in the general category gradually. The government has been offering technical education from 99 public schools--at least one in each district. About 4,500 students are taking exams in agriculture, computer, hotel and hospitality management and engineering. Students studying technical subjects have 1,000 weightage in total while it is 800 for non-technical groups.

Published: 03-12-2014 09:14

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