Kerala HC seeks govt stand on plea to start college for deaf students

Kerala HC seeks govt stand on plea to start college for deaf students

The Kerala high court has sought response of the state government on a charitable society’s plea seeking sanction to start an aided arts and science college for deaf students from the academic year 2022-23.

The high court admitted the society’s petition and issued notices to the state and the Mahatma Gandhi University seeking their stands on the plea, which also seeks affiliation from the varsity for the aided college for deaf students.

The Sacred Heart Clarist Province Charitable Society, in its plea, has said that it runs St. Clare Oral Higher Secondary School for the deaf at Manikkamangalam where 230 students are studying.

It had applied for sanction and NOC, in August last year, for starting an aided arts and science college as it had the necessary infrastructure of 5.71 acres of land and building, including a residential accommodation facility for 100 students, the petition has claimed.

It had also moved an application before the varsity seeking affiliation for the college which would offer a degree course in computer science for 24 students, the plea has said.

Senior advocate Jaju Babu, who represented the society in the matter, told the court that the state government informed it that a policy decision has been taken not to open new aided colleges in Kerala.

However, the government has given no objection certificate (NOC) for starting new self financing /unaided arts and science colleges for the academic year 2021-22 itself, he added.

The society has claimed that apart from its school, about 125 deaf students successfully complete higher secondary courses from Kottayam, Thrissur and Ernakulam districts of Kerala and they suffer due to want of specialised colleges for deaf students.

“Half of them passing out of the Higher Secondary Course every year are denied opportunities for college education. It is unfortunate that there is no aided college in the state for the deaf, other than three special colleges affiliated to Kerala University and Calicut University,” the plea has said.

The society has contended that being a college for educating the deaf, “there is no justification for the government or the University denying sanction and affiliation”.

“Higher learning/college education to the deaf is the need of the time,” it has further contended.