CHENNAI: For more than a year, all that D Viswanathan could do was scurry back and forth to get his course completion certificates. All thanks to the red-tapism that exists in the Tamil Nadu Teacher Education University (TNTEU).
Viswanathan, who cleared his BEd special education course in 2016, has not been able to apply for a job without the certificates but has been forced to repay his educational loans after threats from the bank for defaulting on payments.
The first generation graduate from Namakkal joined National Institute for Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIPMD), Chennai, in 2014. His batch was the last one to study BEd as a one-year course since the government revised it thereafter, adding one more year.
He wrote his arrear exams on June 2016 and cleared them. However, he did not receive his mark sheet, without which the provisional certificate could not be prepared.
While provisional certificates were more than enough for regular BEd graduates to get a job, BEd special education graduates need a cumulative mark sheet, in addition to this.
Special education graduates are required to upload these two documents onto the Rehabilitation Council of India’s (RCI) online portal, failing which they can be arrested or penalised for teaching differently-abled students in schools.
“I have filed several complaints regarding the delay with the college grievance cell, university authorities and chief minister’s special cell. The authorities replied that they were willing to dispatch the certificates only when the first batch of two-year BEd students completed their course in September 2017,” Viswanathan told Express.
But by this time, Viswanathan would have to compete with numerous other graduates from different States when the courses end this month.
With no support from his parents, Viswanathan had turned to a service bank which rejected his application for an educational loan of Rs 45,000. However, his chance meeting with a bank manager from a different branch during his frequent visits to the district library helped him secure a loan.
“I received the loan only after writing the final exams and after the one-year grace period, I started receiving threats from banks and legal notices. So, I started knocking the door of local moneylenders to pay the interest (close to Rs 1,000 per month,” he said
Adding insult to injury, the university authorities asked him to personally appear on Monday to cross-check his identity. “This was completely unnecessary, as my previous mark sheet had my photo affixed. However, I managed to reach Chennai despite exorbitant fares demanded by buses due to the State-wide transport union strike”.
Despite making a personal appearance, he was made to run from pillar to post to get a copy of his college identity card and bonafide certificate. Even after producing it, the university authorities refused to provide him with the certificates. “I was humiliated every time I set foot into the university,” he added.
Viswanathan is among the 1,300 BEd graduates from government and private self-financing teacher training colleges across Tamil Nadu awaiting their certificates despite clearing the course. Some have been waiting since 2011.
Admitting that there was a delay, the TNTEU vice chancellor S Thangasamy said that efforts were taken to dispatch provisional certificates to these students within a week’s time. The university authorities attributed the delay to automation of the certification process.
“The provisional certificate is prepared based on both the semester’s marks and this was delayed with the new automated system in place,” Thangasamy added.