Preeti Abraham, 20, scored 51.8% in the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exam this year, and wants to work as an accountant in a bank.
Abraham, who is hearing-impaired, did not enroll into a regular degree college. Instead, from June 11, she has been attending her first year Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) classes at Rotary Sanskardham Academy Junior College, Goregaon.
The Goregaon junior college, the only one in the state exclusively for differently-abled students, has started degree classes in commerce this year. Of the 17 students who appeared for the HSC exam from the junior college, 15 have cleared and 10, including Abraham, have applied for the degree course.
Abraham said she was not keen on joining a regular college. “Teachers tend to speak fast, and it will be difficult for me to comprehend what they are saying even through lip-reading. However, if they provide special instructors, I would be happy to go to a regular college,” said Abraham with the aid of a sign-language interpreter.
Some students had other apprehensions. “It will be difficult to fit into a regular classroom since other students will not mingle with us,” said Sohail Lakhani, 20, who is also hearing-impaired.
“While several differently-abled students do go to regular colleges, they have greater difficulty in learning, and will not be able to study without special instructors. They will end up dropping out, and since most are from economically weaker sections, they will be forced to take up odd jobs,” said Lata Nayak, principal of the college.
While the students will attend classes at Sanskardham Academy Junior College, they have been enrolled in the neighbouring JM Patel College of Commerce to write their exams.”