CUDDALORE: GV Oviya made history this year. The Class 10 student became the first visually impaired student in Tamil Nadu to write CBSE board exams using a computer, scoring 447 out of 500 according to the results on July 15.
To persons without disabilities, this may not seem like much. However, Oviya is a trailblazer of sorts as most persons with disabilities are forced to rely solely on scribes to write their examinations.
“Oviya had 70 percent of her vision in Class 3 and was able to write exams on her own at the time. However, as she slowly started losing her vision, we tried various methods to help her study and write,” the child’s mother Kokila told The New Indian Express.
The efforts included engaging a scribe and even switching to braille. “But the most effective intervention was using a screen reader, an assistive technology introduced to us by an NGO in Chennai," Kokila explained.
Since then Oviya has been taking class notes on her laptop and using the device to write her exams. “After four years of typing practice, she was trained to type out the answers in the exam in a stretch of four hours. We are satisfied that all these years of hard work, sacrifice, and perseverance yielded fruit,” Kokila said.
Oviya attended the Jawahar Higher Secondary School in Neyveli which, following CBSE guidelines on inclusive education, has supported 29 students since 2011. Oviya was the 30th student and the first in Tamil Nadu to get a full concession from the board, owing to her condition, to write the exam using a computer.
Oviya’s father Vijayaraj said that the family had overcome financial constraints to fulfill Oviya's desire to study. “Her tenacity to pursue an education kept us motivated,” he said.
Congratulations to Ms.G.V.Oviya, a student with Visual Impairment who has created history by scoring 447/500 in 10th Std CBSE examination by writing independently using Computer&Technology. State Commission for PwDs wishes her a great career ahead! @CMOTamilNadu @DrVSarojaoffl pic.twitter.com/EoxGiZZjIs— Commissioner for Differently Abled, Tamil Nadu (@statecomforpwds) July 16, 2020
Oviya secured 87 marks in Mathematics, 91 in science, and 95 in social science. However, as the family has been unable to find a CBSE school offering the commerce group in Neyveli, Oviya and her mother will be moving to Coimbatore for further studies.
“I am determined to work hard and clear the civil service exam so that I can change the lives of
people like me,” Oviya said.