Kerala

Quota for disabled not practical, says schools’ forum

A section of aided primary school managers have claimed that 4% reservation for people with disabilities will prove to be challenge to those running single schools.

In a recent memorandum to General Education Minister V. Sivankutty, functionaries of Kerala Aided (Primary) School Managers Association (KASMA) had pointed out that the Education department had issued an order making the quota mandatory for aided schools only in November last year.

Going by the order, one of the 25 persons being appointed should be differently abled. In the past 50 years, a majority of aided primary schools have not appointed 25 teachers. Even 50 persons have not been appointed in most schools that are around 100 years old, KASMA president P.S. Sasikumar said in the memorandum.

Reservation

Three per cent reservation was mandatory for them under the People With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, from February 7, 1996. Under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, the quota was raised to 4% from April 19, 2017, with retrospective effect.

It was the KASMA functionaries who opposed the Kerala High Court stay order on appointments in aided schools last year. In an order on September 6, 2021, the Director of Public Instruction had sought to clear all appointments to aided schools made by July 15, 2021, by September 24. The court stayed this order after the Kerala Federation of the Blind filed a petition alleging that the 4% quota for persons with disabilities had not been implemented. This put 2,883 appointments across the State in a limbo. The High Court vacated the stay later.

Organisations representing persons with disabilities had demanded that they be given the first reserved post. In a large majority of primary schools, there are only four posts. If the first post is given under the quota, the reservation percentage would go up to 25. The managements claimed that there were many schools in the State which were set up before the Kerala Education Rules were formulated. There are less than 25 teachers in those schools, they added.

There are only around 500 qualified applicants who deserve to be appointed under the persons with disabilities quota, KASMA claimed, adding that a majority of them had already got jobs. The State government had not issued any guidelines for the appointment of persons with disabilities, and the Social Justice Department had not conducted any study on the issue, it said.

KASMA leaders claimed that the Education department had issued the order to implement reservations with retrospective effect on November 11 only after the High Court stay order. The process to gauge backlog posts began only in December.


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Printable version | Apr 6, 2022 9:14:57 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/quota-for-disabled-not-practical-says-schools-forum/article38315517.ece