Call for a simple procedure for availing benefit of extra time in examination
Sickle-cell disease (SCD) is a hereditary blood disorder, characterized by an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying haemoglobin molecule in red blood cells. This leads to a propensity for the cells to assume an abnormal, rigid, sickle-like shape under certain circumstances. Such cells tend to block blood flow in the blood vessels of the limbs and organs leading to pain, organ damage with increased the risk for infection. Almost 300,000 children are born with a form of sickle-cell disease every year, mostly in Africa, though such cases are also seen in India.
In May 2013, the Maharashtra state government made provision of giving an extra time of 20 for every hour in board examinations to students suffering from sickle cell disease (SCD). However, the number of students who have been able to avail the benefit of the decision is very low due to lack of clarity on the modalities to be followed in such cases.
Sampat Ramteke, President of a NGO Sickle Cell Society of India (SCSI), filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to State Education Board of Maharashtra to know of the process involved for availing the facility of extra time by the students suffering from SCD. The Nagpur division of the state board informed that for availing the benefit, the following are required:-
· a recommendation letter from the head of the school,
· certificate of the civil surgeon,
· two photographs of the student, and
· a copy of the admit card.
Ramteke has pointed that since the admit card is given to students just a few days before the exams; this would cause harassment of the student forcing him to run around at the crucial juncture instead of studying on the exams.