Telangana to reopen schools from Wednesday

Telangana schools to reopen from Wednesday: High Court's directions allow both online and offline classes

The state's decision to reopen the educational institutions for the students of all the standards has caused anxiety

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

The Telangana High Court has directed the state government and the school managements not to compel the students to resume offline classes. It has also prohibited the reopening of state-run residential schools.

The state's decision last week to reopen the educational institutions for the students of all the standards including pre-primary sections from 1 September has caused anxiety among the parents, especially when studies indicated the possibility of a Covid-19 third wave over the next few months.

On Tuesday, a day before the schools' scheduled reopening for physical mode classes, the court reviewed a petition questioning the government's decision.

In its 24 August orders, following CM Rao's decision a day earlier, the Telangana education department directed all the educational institutions across the state to open in physical mode, duly following the Covid-19 norms. The notice did not offer the option of continuing online classes, as preferred by many parents and more so in towns and cities.

In such a scenario, some of the schools in Hyderabad had even asked for an undertaking from the parents to absolve the management of any liability if their child gets infected by the virus.

Following the court's interim orders effectively allowing both offline and online education modes, education minister Sabitha Indra Reddy held consultations with senior officials and a revised memo was issued on Tuesday evening.

According to the clarifications in the memo, all schools other than government residential, social welfare and tribal welfare schools with hostel facilities are permitted to open from 1 September.

However, no child shall be compelled by any school management to physically attend offline classes, “if his/her parents are disinclined to send the child to school.”

“It is left open to school managements to have either only offline or only online or both offline and online classes,” said Sandeep Kumar Sultania, secretary, education department.

The government also submitted that the Standard Operating Procedures to be followed by the school managements conducting offline classes would be laid down within a week. Education department officials also stated that the undertakings from parents absolving the management in case of Covid-19 infections while in school, “shall not have any legal effect.”

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