Schools to detect learning disabilities in students at early stages: Bombay HC

  • The Bombay High Court has told all schools, boards and educational institutions to try and start detecting specific learning disabilities in children at the earliest stage. This task can be delegated to teachers and other selected persons.
    The court said all children should undergo the tests prescribed under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, for the purpose of detecting specific learning disabilities.
    Dr Harish Shetty, a psychiatrist acting as the amicus curiae, submitted before the bench that Section 16 of the Act mandates that all educational institutions detect specific learning disabilities in children at the earliest and take suitable pedagogical and other measures to overcome these disabilities and also monitor participation, progress etc. in respect of every student with disability.
    Dr Shetty also submitted that the CBSE and other boards used to carry out the task of detecting learning disabilities in the 9th standard, but by that time it can get late and the child may have already undergone trauma and suffered psychologically.
    The bench observed that apart from conducting medical tests of these students, another method could be to examine these students who had fair performance earlier in the studies and have not done well in the recent years.
    “This would certainly create lesser burden on the schools and it would be an easier method to identify such children from this category. It is further clarified that this process of identification should be done on a confidential basis and the information of the result or identification of a child, who is having learning disability, may not be disclosed in public,” the court said.

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