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Schools close doors on the learning disabled

Stranded without a seat in any school, these students have no choice but to appear for their board exams privately.

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Athletic and energetic till recently, Vile Parle (East) based Roshan Sahani (name changed) is steeped in depression for the past few weeks. According to his parents, he has lost self-confidence and even turned suicidal. Even as his friends entered the second week of their academic year, Roshan, who is learning disabled, is yet to secure admission in any school, and might even be forced to appear for the Class X exams privately.

Schools are fast closing their doors on the 15-year-old Roshan, an excellent football player, said father Vijay, adding, “He was very talkative and had a charming personality, but of late we are afraid to even let him cross the street alone.”

A student in the CNM School, Roshan had to quit school after failing Class IX. As he had also failed Class VI earlier, his parents were advised that a board like the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS)  would suit him better. “The school gave him a report card with ‘condoned and promoted to Class IX’ written on it, thus causing schools to reject  him,’’ Vijay said.

Roshan could not secure an admission in Jamnabai Narsee School (JNS), the nearest school offering the NIOS board, while two of his friends who approached the school after him got admission calls from that school. JNS principal Sudeshna Chatterjee said, ‘‘We have nothing against the learning disabled, except that the report cards of a few of them approaching us said they were ‘condoned and promoted to Class IX’. We just watch out for disciplinary records of the students.’’

Stranded without a seat in any school, these students have no choice but to appear for their board exams privately. ‘‘I have been running pillar to post for admission with my parents. I have already enrolled myself in a private class so that I can appear for the board exam privately,’’ said another learning disabled student.

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