CHENNAI: Visually challenged job seeker S Pandiaraj has no dearth of qualifications. Proving that disability is no barrier, he aced academics, completing his MPhil before going on to write the Teacher’s Eligibility Test last August, in which he competed with students with eyesight and became one of the less than one per cent of candidates who passed the exam. One year down the line, he attempted the examination again, this time the Special category, and cleared that too. But the wait is far from over.
“When I passed the TET under the General Category they said I need to take the Special TET again. Now I have passed that too and my name featured in the merit list. But they say there is no vacancy.
In November, the exam will be conducted again and more candidates will be added to the waiting list. We have no idea how long we will have to wait,” says Pandiaraj.
K Anand of the TN College Students and Graduates Association and Assistant Professor at the Nandanam Arts and Science College points out that of the roughly 350 visually challenged students who passed the TET special exam this time around, 50 per cent had already passed the general exam earlier.
“The pattern followed by the School Education Department (SED) is biased against the visually challenged. If a visually challenged student gets through the merit category, he/she is denied posting. Moreover, recruitment for visually challenged candidates is made only in schools under the SED. We are denied recruitment in schools run by the Corporation, Municipality, aided schools and others,” he says. He points out that the recruitments that have been currently made are for vacancies in 2011-12. “At that time, there weren’t enough candidates who had passed the TET and could fill the available vacancies. But there has been no attempt to open up the current vacancies available for the visually challenged,” he points out.
“Even in the 1,107 seats available in the backlog as per a court order, so far only 548 have been opened up for us,” he adds. The organisation has been taking up the issue with the TRB and other government departments. Officials with the TRB said the candidates will have to wait till new vacancies come up. “The TET is only a qualifying examination. As long as new vacancies are not created, we will not be able to recruit,” said a senior TRB official.