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Bombay High Court suggests making maths optional for students with learning disability

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Mumbai: To help students with learning disabilities, Bombay High Court on Monday asked all educational boards in the country to consider treating maths as an ‘optional’ subject. The HC also said that this can help students to pursue their career by opting for other streams wherein maths is not compulsory.

The suggestion came from a Division Bench presided over by Justice Vidyasagar Kanade and Justice Anil Menon that had taken up a suo moto Public Interest Litigation (PIL) over a letter written by activist Dr Harish Shetty.

He had highlighted the fact that students having learning disabilities, do not secure good marks and as a result are punished by their parents and teachers that creates a permanent trauma in their minds.


Taking note of the difficulties of the students, Justice Kanade said, “We are of the view that all these boards may consider whether they can give option to these children to choose maths as an optional subject for their school certification exams.”

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The Bench noticed that 60%-70% of students who appeared for SSC and other similar exams do not pursue their career or further studies since they are not in a position to pass English or Marathi. “There are number of faculties where after 9th or 10th maths is not a subject in the syllabus. These students can take admission in colleges particularly in arts and other vocational courses where maths is not compulsory. This will help large number of students to complete graduation,” Justice Kanade observed.

During hearing, the Bench was informed that the SSC had in the past given maths as an optional subject but now has discontinued the practice. The Bench has, however,directed the board to consider reviving the same after taking expert views.

Meanwhile, the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) informed the Bench that it has already issued a circular directing all its school to detect learning disabilities in students.

Posting the matter for further hearing to next month, the Bench has directed all the boards to provide data of students with learning disabilities.