MALAPPURAM: Haroon Kareem T K, a tenth-grade visually impaired student of Mankada Government Higher Secondary School and the first student in Kerala to write all Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examinations using a computer, has scored A plus in all subjects.
Haroon’s fight to secure permission to use computers instead of the conventional scribe system was reported by ANI, following which state Education Minister C Raveendranath had issued a special order to permit him to take SSLC examination on computer.
Speaking to ANI, Haroon said that if he had used a scribe and scored all A plus then the credit would have been given to the scribe and all his efforts would be seen as ‘little’.
“By using a computer provided by the authorities, I am happy that I kept my self-pride high. Writing all subjects using a computer is not an easy task as language subjects are diverse,” he said.
Haroon’s all A plus is an inspiration for the new generation of visually impaired students who are efficient and technologically advanced.
Back in February, at first, the education department had denied his request to write the exam citing the SCERT, however, after the intervention of Raveendranath things moved away from the conventional methods of using braille or a scribe. Raveendranath had intervened in the matter after the boy reached out to him on Facebook and later met him in his office. Haroon had met Kerala speaker P Sreeramakrishnan and he facilitated a meeting with Education Minister”I am using computers to do all my class tasks and term and annual examinations since Class 8.
For visually impaired there are technologies available for onscreen reading and using various tools like Imfty editor and Dolphin Easy Reader. I am able to make the best use of the technology,” Haroon had said while speaking to ANI.
Ram Kamal of Chakshumathi, an NGO that works with print disabled kids in Kerala and works in the direction of promoting assistive technology to overcome their educational challenges was of the view that this decision of education minister will help many other visually impaired students in Kerala.”The India Government and NCERT are well in sync with the latest assistive technologies for the visually impaired and print disabled.
They modified their rules in favour of using computers officially since 2013. Karthik Swayne, the first Indian visually impaired student at Stanford University, US was one of the first beneficiaries of the rule in 2012. But in Kerala, the SCERT examination guidelines are outdated, ” he had said.