Haroon Kareem who is visually impaired, a tenth-grade student of Mankada Government higher Secondary School and is the first student in Kerala to wrote all Senior Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examinations using a computer instead of the scribe, has secured A plus in all the subjects.
Though he was visually impaired, he wanted to study in a normal school with students who are different from him.
He appeared for the exam after facing many problems and challenges and after the declaration of result; he is in the headlines as Education Minister C Raveendra Nath mentioned his name while announcing the results.
“If he had used a scribe and scored A+ in all, then the credit would have been given to the scribe and all his efforts would be seen as ‘little’, Haroon said while speaking to ANI. He said, “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.”
Haroon fought to secure permission for using computers instead of a conventional scribe system and finally, he secured permission from Kerala’s education minister.
- Here are the list of Indian apps are ready to replace Chinese apps
- Celebrating National Doctor’s Day; committed to working for long shifts despite abuse amid COVID- 19 pandemic
At first, earlier in February, the education department denied his request to write the exam citing the SCERT norms, but after the intervention of the State Education Minister C Raveendranath, things changed and he agreed to move away from using the conventional method of braille or scribe.
Raveendranath 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 Sreerama Krishnan and he facilitated a meeting with the Education Minister of Kerala.
How he write in exams?
Haroon told ANI, “Since class 8, I am using computers to do all my class tasks and term and annual examinations.”
“For visually impaired there are many 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 technology.”
For Haroon special arrangements were made at GVHS School in Mankada, after getting special permission from the state government to write in exams using a computer.
Haroon typed the answers on the computer with the help of invigilator Manoj who read out each question for him. After the completion of the exam, a hard copy of the answers was taken and submitted with the answer sheets of the other students.
Technology in Kerala for Visually Impaired
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 education challenges, was of the view that this decision of education minister will help many other visually impaired students in Kerala.
Ram Kamal said, “The Indian Government and NCERT are well in sync with the latest assistive technologies for visually impaired and print disabled. They modified their rule in favour of using computers since 2013.”
He further said that “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.”
After passing exams with flying colours, Haroon became an inspiration for the new generation of visually impaired students who are efficient and technologically advanced.