The Bombay High Court on Monday asked education boards to consider making Mathematics an optional subject for Class X (SSC) students to help them pursue arts or other vocational courses requiring no knowledge of Maths.

A bench of justices V M Kanade and A M Badar made the suggestion while hearing a petition filed by a leading psychiatrist, Harish Shetty.

Shetty raised the issue of students suffering from learning disabilities at school levels and the steps taken by education boards to assist such students.

The court noted that a high percentage of students drop out of schools after the tenth standard as they are not able to clear Maths and language papers.

“Subjects like Mathematics are not required in degree courses like arts and other vocational courses. If an option is given to the students not to study Maths, it will help them complete graduation,” Justice Kanade said.

“The Maharashtra state board till many years had a successful system where students were permitted to apply for degree courses even if they had passed at least seven or eight subjects with or without Maths. We do not know why they (state board) decided to do away with it… May be they can consider reverting to the old system,” Justice Kanade said.

The bench has asked the education boards to take advice from experts on whether it’s suggestions can be acted upon. The bench adjourned the hearing to July 26.