16-year-old Haroon Kareem, a 10th grade visually impaired student of Mankada Government Higher Secondary School in Kerala’s Malappuram district has cleared his Class 10 exams in the state board with A+ in all subjects. Haroon also scripted history by becoming the first visually impaired student in the state to take the board exam using a computer without the help of a scribe or an interpreter.
Haroon, who is 95% visually impaired and aims to pursue B.Tech from Stanford University faced many challenges to appear in his exams. At first, the education department had denied his request to write the exam on a computer citing state board guidelines. However, Haroon and his parents were persistent. They petitioned the education minister Prof C Raveendranath to get a special order for their son to write all exams on the computer. After the minister’s intervention things moved away from the conventional methods of using braille or scribe.
Haroon typed the answers on the computer as invigilator Mr. Manoj read out each question for him. After completing the exam, printouts of the answer sheets were taken and submitted with answer sheets of other students.
When the state board results were announced, Haroon found a special mention of his name in Prof C Raveendranath’s speech.