MSJE Guidelines for conducting written examination for People with Disabilities- FAQ
Question 1: What is a scribe?
Answer: A scribe is someone, who reads the questions and writes down a student’s dictated answers in an examination.
Question 1(i): What is the role of a scribe?
Answer: i. A scribe would write down exactly what the student dictates. A scribe will record responses including maps, diagrams, wherever appropriate and dictated by the student.
ii. Read what they have written as often requested by the student.
The following points are not allowed
iii. The scribe cannot explain meanings of words, phrases during the exam.
iv. To comment on the factual or academic content of what has been dictated.
Question 2: Who can avail the scribe facility?
Answer: As per the disability certificate, the facility of Scribe/Reader/Lab Assistant should be allowed to any person who has disability of 40% or more if so desired by the person.
Question 3: What are the eligibility criteria of a scribe?
Answer: Criteria like educational qualification, marks scored, age or other such restrictions for the scribe/reader/lab assistant should not be fixed. Instead, the invigilation system should be strengthened, so that the candidates using scribe/reader/lab assistant do not indulge in mal-practices like copying and cheating during the examination.
Question 4: What is the criterion for taking the regular and competitive examinations?
Answer- As per the MSJE guidelines there should be a universal criterion for both regular and competitive examinations.
Question 5: Who is responsible for arranging a scribe and or reader?
The candidate should have the discretion of opting for his own scribe/reader/lab assistant or request the Examination Body for the same. The examining body may also identify the scribe/ reader to make panels at the district/ division/ state levels as per the requirements of the examinations. In such instances the candidates should be allowed to meet the scribe fifteen minutes prior to the examination so that the candidates get a chance to check and verify whether the scribe is suitable or not.
Question 6: Can the person with disabilities avail extra time during the examination?
Answer: Extra Time should not be less than 20 minutes per hour of examination for persons who are making use of scribe/reader/lab assistant. All the candidates with disability not availing the facility of scribe may be allowed additional time of minimum of one hour for examination of 3 hours duration which could further be increased on case to case basis.
Question 8: What devices are allowed by the candidate for taking the examination?
Answer: As per the MSJE guidelines the candidates should be allowed to use assistive devices like talking calculator (in cases where calculators are allowed for giving exams), tailor frame, Braille slate, abacus, geometry kit, Braille measuring tape and augmentative communication devices like communication chart and electronic devices.
Question 8 (i): Is text and reading material available in accessible format?
The examining body should provide reading material in Braille or E-Text or on computers having suitable screen reading software for open book examination. Online examination should be in accessible format i.e. websites, question papers and all other study material should be accessible as per the international standards laid down in this regard.
Question 9: As per the MSJE guidelines, what all assistive technology should be given to a person with disability to take the examination?
Answer: Persons with disabilities should be given the option of choosing the mode for taking the examinations i.e. in Braille or in the computer or in large print or even by recording the answers as the examining bodies can easily make use of technology to convert question paper in large prints, e-text, or Braille and can also convert Braille text in English or regional languages.
Question 10: How does one accommodate a request for changing a registered/ delegated scribe?
Answer: There should also be flexibility in accommodating any change in scribe/reader/lab assistant in case of emergency. The candidates should also be allowed to take more than one scribe/reader for writing different papers especially for languages.
Question 11: Is there a fee for a scribe?
Answer: Most examining bodies do not undertake any responsibility of payment to the scribes. However, the scribe is paid remuneration as prescribed by the CBSE Board which at present is 100 Rupees per paper. Similarly, Delhi University has fixed Rs 250 as daily payment to be made to scribes.
Question 12: If the MSJE guidelines aren’t being followed? Who can one reach out to?
Answer: These are the guidelines of the MSJE, however, examining body and authoritative bodies are not obligated to follow the guidelines. One can always reach out to the Office of Chief Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities at the central level and to the office of state commissioner for persons with disabilities at state level for complaints.