JNU Entrance: Lack of Scribes & Finding Our Own a Huge Barrier
A lot of students like ourselves are being forced to forego the exam due to lack of scribe facilities.
Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
Video Producer: Aastha Gulati
Illustrations: Erum Gour
The Jawaharlal Nehru College Entrance Examination (JNUEE), scheduled from 5 October to 8 October, was conducted online in centres across the country. While I, Ram, appeared for three exams in Delhi, my friend appeared for one course in her hometown, Kolkata.
We are both aspiring to get admission into JNU’s Masters courses. However, as visually impaired students, our experience of writing the exam was a lot different than any other student. Firstly, not all centres had NTA-provided scribes. As my friend says, only some designated centres had a scribe facility.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) in its guidelines also says that while provisions for scribes exist, a candidate can also opt to bring his or her own scribe. However, this does not make things any easier for us.
A lot of people are being forced to forego the exam due to lack of scribe facilities, as people could not give the exam at such short notice, especially those having linguistic backgrounds or those giving their exams in different languages. Such candidates have been ignored. As my friend rightly puts it:
“It was not possible for me to go to the prescribed centre by NTA where they could provide the scribe. As the exam happened amid the COVID crisis, it was quite difficult for me to arrange the scribe because many people refused. Due to COVID, they were not ready to help me.”
Furthermore, there is no appropriate facility to entertain the concerns of the visually impaired. In case we approach NTA and in this case, JNU authorities, no one responded to my queries. So, I appeared for my exam with a scribe I had to find myself. This was a little disappointing as JNU has better facilities than other institutions.
State of Exam Centre
A second concern was the state of preparedness in centres. At my centre in Delhi, here was no maintenance of hygiene. I found no proper sanitisation maintained especially where you sit. Also, no measures in the washrooms either. They were dirty. My friend’s experience was poles apart.
“They followed all required precautions and arranged for thermal scanning of each and every candidate. Proper social distancing was maintained between candidates. NTA also provided us with masks. After ensuring that all candidates are abiding by COVID regulations were we allowed to sit for the exam.”
At her centre at least, officials cooperated with visually impaired candidates.
We are sure that others could have had better or worse experiences. It however remains true that students with disabilities have been deprived of getting into campus and into universities. It is very disheartening and hopefully, something will happen in the coming days.
(All ‘My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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