The Braille Resource Centre at Bangalore Central University (BCU) has formed a scribe community– a set of sighted volunteers who would lend a hand for the students to write their exams.
Finding scribes, who take down answers dictated by the visually challenged students during exams, has been arduous for many students, who depend on friends and NGOs for a volunteer.
There are instances when students had difficulties arranging a scribe even a day before their exams. “They’re badly in need of scribes,” Ismath Afshan, former director, Braille Resource Centre, explained to DH.
Afshan, who had plans to create the community having recently retired as the Centre’s director, said visually challenged students spend a great deal of time and energy hunting for a scribe while preparing for the exams.
“The scribe community will certainly ease their nerves. People of all age groups can be part of this community. Scribes will be allotted (to the students) based on a few norms,” Afshan said.
Besides the BCU, Braille Resource Centre also helps students of Bangalore University (BU) and Bangalore North University (BNU). There are 152 students attached to the centre who are badly in need of scribes.
Malappa, a visually challenged student attached with the centre, said scribes should spend at least three hours writing exams for the students. “It’s not that we aren’t getting (the scribes). There’re a few NGOs and volunteers (who act as scribes). But we need more people,” he said.
“Though we fix their time (to write our exams) a week in advance, they may not be available at the last minute. This (scribe) community is totally dedicated (to write our exams). If one finds it difficult to come, there’ll be someone else. We’ll be relieved if someone definitely turns up,” he said.
The Centre has fixed a few norms for the scribe community.
The person acting as a scribe should be from a different discipline and should have a lesser qualification than the visually challenged student.
The community also intends to help other students who may need assistance outside the university.