Telangana HC Stays Reopening of Residential, Welfare Schools
Other schools may be allowed to resume physical classes, the students however, cannot be compelled to attend.
The Telangana High Court on Tuesday, 31 August, imposed an interim stay on the state government’s order for the reopening of all residential and welfare schools in Telangana from 1 September, due to the lack of a detailed SOP for precaution from COVID-19.
Following the state government’s order on 23 August, Balakrishna, a private school teacher, had moved the Telangana High Court.
In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Balakrishna said that it is 'undeserving' to conduct physical classes in the backdrop of reports of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and had urged the High Court to stop the government orders to reopen the schools, The News Minute reported.
'Cannot Be Compelled To Attend': Telangana High Court
The High Court stayed the state government’s order for reopening of all residential and welfare schools on Tuesday.
Moreover, the court noted that while other schools may be allowed to resume physical classes, as long as SOPs were strictly maintained, the students however, cannot be compelled to attend.
The high court bench, headed by acting Chief Justice Ramchandra Rao, also asked the state to issue detailed guidelines on the same by the end of this week.
The high court also forbade the government from taking any action against students who do not attend in-person classes.
While private schools may choose between physical or online classes, parents of the students cannot be forced to send their wards for physical classes.
Questioning the reopening procedure, the HC also asserted that it is not against the reopening of schools, as prolonged closure is depriving lakhs of rural children from nutrition, which is given through the midday meal scheme.
The Telangana Parents Association (TPA) in a statement welcomed the interim order and said:
“All directions are appreciated. Private schools have the choice to continue online classes or offline classes or both. Parents have the right to decide any way. Whatever may be it is an appropriate order. Thanks to the High Court.”The Telangana Parents Association (TPA), as quoted by The News Minute.
Though Telangana Minister for Education Sabitha Indra Reddy had earlier said that classes would be conducted only through the physical mode from 1 September, the high court order changes that. She had added that online classes and television classes provided by the T-SAT would be continued.
As many as 60 lakhs students were expected to attend the classes from 1 September as per the state government.
Education Minister Sabitha Indira Reddy during a recent visit to a government school, was quoted as saying, “All the safety measures will be given. Even parents will be taking all the safety precautions. Students will be taken care of even in school premises.”
(With inputs from The News Minute.)
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