Admission to Computer Applications course in Kolkata college becomes harder for the deaf

Admissions to the Bachelor of Computer Applications course at Kolkata's Presidency College has become tougher for deaf students.

This is because the college has made it compulsory for students to have studied mathematics in their 12th standard. This year, admissions of deaf students has fallen by as much as 80%. Only five students have been admitted, and there are less than three days left before the admission deadline ends.

Started in 2007, Presidency is the only government-aided college to run two degree programmes only for deaf students - B Com and BCA. Mainstream colleges allow admissions but don't have the facility to teach in sign language. The few colleges that do teach in sign language are private colleges and charge higher fees.

Until 2015, students only needed to pass the 12th standard to get an admission at either of the courses but since 2016, students applying for BCA are expected to have studied and passed mathematics.

Since many students don't choose to do mathematics during the 12th, the BCA class that usually has a strength of 35-40 students now has only five students, two of whom are planning to drop out because of the poor number.

One of the faculty members at the college has said that there was no need to introduce such a rule and that students are being denied a degree.

The other issue is that the 150-year old Victoria Hostel in Presidency College that is home to 400 disabled students was also shut down last year. This is after the state government said that it was unfit for living in. Many disabled students say it has now become too expensive to study here.

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