The family of Asim, a differently-abled boy from Velimanna in the district, is determined to continue the legal battle in the Kerala High Court seeking upgrading of the Government U.P. School in the village to enable his higher studies.

The court on Wednesday stayed an order of the single judge, who had directed the Education Department to take steps to upgrade the school after a year-long fight by the boy who was born with 90% disability. Asim had finished Class 7 last year. The State government had filed an appeal against the order.

Saeed Yamani, Asim’s father, told
The Hindu
on Thursday that because of the legal tangle, Asim had not been able to continue his studies for around two months after the beginning of the new academic year. He said that the department’s contention that a vehicle could be arranged to pick and drop Asim to the nearest high school was not practical. “They also had offered to arrange a teacher at home. But that is not what my son wants. He wants to continue his studies in a school.”

A local action committee and the PTA too had impleaded in the case.

Asim had contended in the petition earlier that the nearest high school was 5 km away and that this was a violation of the provisions of the Right to Education Act, which ensures mandatory education for every child up to Class 8 within a 3 km radius. There are no government high schools in Omassery grama panchayat, in which Velimanna falls.

The Assistant Educational Officer, Koduvally, gave an affidavit in the court saying that transport facility could be arranged. In the appeal, the department also pointed out that if the school had to be upgraded, new classrooms would have to be constructed, facilities created and more staff would have to be appointed. This would incur financial liabilities, the department argued. The AEO also claimed to arrange transport facility for Asim’s mother if she wished to accompany him and to her work place too.

P.K. Anvar Sadath, PTA president, said the court would be urged to consider the issue on a humanitarian basis. “We will try to get the stay vacated as early as possible,” he added.

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