Today many visually impaired applicants of the upcoming TET (Teachers Eligibility Test) gathered under the banner of Blind Persons’ Association near the office of the Education Minister of West Bengal at Bikash Bhavan. TET is going to be held next Sunday in West Bengal. About 22 lac candidates will appear at this test. But many visually impaired candidates may not be able to appear at it. The board of primary education and the elementary branch of state education department have refused to follow guidelines of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on scribe. According to these guidelines, the qualification of the scribe should not be a barrier. Instead, the examining board should ensure strict invigilation. But the state government is allowing only students of class IX and X as scribe. Students of class X are now busy with their ensuing pre-test. So the only option left open is students of class ix. Shri Arnab Roy last week agreed to our request for scribe from class XI and XII as per the said guidelines.
Early this week it was revealed they are not going to follow the Union Ministry’s guidelines. They said that providing scribe is an extra facility. Allowing scribe from class XI will mean undue advantage. School Service Commission allowed scribe from first and second year in the recent examination. So the candidates decided to send a deputation to the Education Minister, Shri Partha Chattopadhyay today. The delegates tried to talk to the Education Minister over phone, but he refused. They wanted to meet Shri Arnab Roy, the Secretary of Elementary Education Branch. He refused too. The disputed order was burnt at Karunamayee bus stand in protest. The visually impaired candidates were frustrated in the end when they realized that they have to appear at this exam with scribe from class IX who has no previous experience of a real examination. Shri Saikat Kar of BPA announced at the end of the gathering that the movement would continue until the demand for scribe from class XI and XII is achieved.