Plea in Delhi HC seeking mechanism to provide education to visually impaired, specially-abled

New Delhi [India], May 20 (ANI): A petition has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking to set-up adequate and effective mechanism for visually impaired and specially-abled individuals for transmission of educational instructions, teaching and material.

Petitioner Prateek Sharma and Diksha Singh, who are law students stated that due to Covid-19 outbreak, universities, schools, colleges and other educational institutions have engaged in online teachings, however, no efforts have been made by the Respondents (Union of India) to consider the need of the visually impaired and specially-abled individuals (auditory impairment).

The plea, which will be heard on Wednesday, stated that nonchalant outlook has and is leading to worsening the educational conditions and no notice of this situation has been taken by the Respondents or respective state governments.

The petitioners were seeking direction to Respondents to provide adequate steps and undertake measures to facilitate online learning and online examinations and examinations being conducted - including mid-semester evaluation and/or continuous evaluation as per the UGC guidelines.

"Due to the various guidelines and maintaining social distancing and staying indoors has been taken as a pivotal precautionary measure and therefore, the government restricted all educational institutions from operating and the same had to abide by the rules of the lockdown. Because of which normal mode of education was done away with and that online learning was adopted and no considerations were made for visually impaired and specially-abled individuals (auditory impairment) and their educational needs," the plea said.

The petitioners also alleged that due to this non-consideration, students at all levels who are visually impaired and specially-abled (auditory impairment) find themselves in worsening educational condition and effectively have been left to fend for themselves during this period of hardship.

"That the current educational system and lack of an effective mechanism thereto for imparting education to the above stated are discriminatory and therefore operates as a hurdle for educational endeavours and aspirations of our fellow visually impaired and specially-abled students (auditory impairment)," the plea said.

The petitioners said that the burden of learning is not on the visually impaired and specially-abled individuals rather it is the duty of the State to ensure and provide for effective teachings method.

"However, the same is not being done currently due to lack of any such policy or effective mechanism, therefore, placing our visually impaired and specially-abled individuals (auditory impairment) in an apathetic situation vis-a-vis others," the plea said.

"That the universities/colleges/schools /educational institutions have adopted a nonchalant and non-serious approach to the said issue and are not providing or effectively dealing with the said issue and thereby effectively causing and forcing the students to either wait out the said period and hope for the said lockdown to subside to resume their learning," it said. (ANI)