Keeping in mind the present COVID-19 situation in the state, the Telangana High Court on Wednesday, ordered the educational institutions to conduct online classes up to February 20, 2022. This decision came three days after the educational institutions re-opened across the state. As per the court’s direction, the educational institutes will now have to continue online classes along with physical classes so that those students who prefer virtual classes do not miss out on the lectures. The instruction was given out while the court was hearing petitions involving the COVID-19 situation in the state.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili declared that the government should make necessary arrangements for those students who are unable to attend offline classes. The instruction applies to the private schools as well. It was Advocate General B.S. Prasad who assured that necessary arrangements would be made. Moreover, additional staff will be employed to keep a check on whether the COVID-19 protocols are followed or not.
After an extended vacation of 23 days for Sankranti, the Telangana state government announced the reopening of educational institutions from February 01, 2022 onwards. Despite the re-opening of schools, the attendance remained poor as the state continued to report an increasing number of COVID-19 cases. Since many teaching staffs and students were already infected with the virus, most schools did not consider resuming offline classes.
Less class strength
The education department in the state reported that out of the 55 lakh school students, only 23 lakh attended offline classes on February 02, 2022. A major reason behind this is that many parents are refraining from sending their wards to schools due to the constant threat of getting infected. Previously, senior counsel L. Ravichander pleaded with the bench to put a stay on implementing the government’s decision to resume physical classes. He stated that due to the existing classroom sizes, it would be difficult to maintain social distancing.
The High Court, through its directives, also instructed the state government to ensure that necessary COVID-19 rules are being implemented in all places like markets, bars and restaurants. In case there is any negligence in observing the norms, then it might again lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases. As such, the Advocate General has been asked to report on what action is being taken by the government against the COVID-19 rule violators. The matter has been adjourned till February 20, 2022.