Authorities close eyes to blind's teaching aspiration

Authorities close eyes to blind's teaching aspiration

Deny him permission to write common entrance test

The examination is compulsory for all candidates seeking admission under government quota for BEd course in Karnataka.  

Manjunath V, a 27-year-old visually-challenged candidate was denied permission to appear for the entrance examination at the Vivekananda BEd College here on Sunday. The candidate claimed that authorities had barred him from writing the examination as he was completely blind.

Bright student

A bright student right from school days, Manjunath has scored 86 percent in SSLC and 65 percent in BA from St Joseph’s College of Arts and Science. Later, the National Federation of Blind came forward to support the student and had given him free accommodation to fulfil his dream of becoming a teacher.

Manjunath told Deccan Herald that he had been preparing for the entrance examination for the past four months.

“It is my childhood dream to become a teacher. The authorities cannot deny me the permission to appear for the test only because of my disability," he said.   

The Department of Public Instruction has reserved one pc of seats each for visually-impaired, hearing impaired and physically challenged in educational institutions. However, several organisations claim that deserving candidates cannot avail the seats reserved for them due to a rule setting the upper limit for disability at 75 pc.

According to Gautam Agarwal, President of National Federation of Blind, Karnataka Chapter, neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala have implemented the disability quota far more effectively than Karnataka.

Disability Act

"The Persons with Disability Act clearly states that three per cent of seats should be reserved for persons with disability. They have not included any sub-clause regarding the percentage of disability," Gautam said. The federation is also planning to file a writ petition to bring justice to the student.

  Meanwhile, the authorities at the examination centre said that they could not permit the candidate as per the prescribed rules.  

"The candidate is expected to appear before officials 15 days before the examination to permission for a scribe. We cannot allow scribe to enter the test centre without prior permission," said Ramachandra Murthy, nodal officer of examination centre.

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