New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Telangana High Court on Tuesday put on hold the state government's decision to reopen schools from September 1 for a week, news agency ANI reported. The Telangana government had earlier this month announced the resumption of all schools for classes 8th to 12th and had issued detailed guidelines for the reopening of schools. 

In its interim order on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the government order to reopen all educational institutions, the court ruled that residential schools and hostels cannot be reopened from September 1. 

"No student from any school private or government, KG to class 12, shall be compelled to attend physical classes from September 1," the Telangana High Court said in its order today adding, “Do not take action against students who do not attend live classes".

A division bench also made it clear that students can't be penalised for not attending classes and parents should not be forced to send their wards to schools. The bench headed by acting Chief Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao also ruled that the state government cannot compel schools to run the classes.

The court left it to the schools to decide whether to run physical or online classes or both in tune with the facilities they have and as per the convenience of the parents. The court directed the education department to issue within a week Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for conducting physical classes.

It also asked the department to explain the SOP for reopening social welfare and tribal welfare residential schools that have attached hostels. It gave the department four weeks to submit a report in this regard.

The court has adjourned the hearing to October 4. The bench took note of the reports of a possible third wave of Covid-19 pandemic in September-October. It asked the state government to analyse all aspects while taking a decision.

On August 23, the Telangana government decided to reopen all educational institutions from September 1.Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao directed the officials to reopen all institutions from KG to PG in both rural and urban areas.

After a gap of nearly 11 months, educational institutions in the state had reopened in February this year but due to the surge in Covid-19 cases during the second wave, they were shut down from March 24. However, online classes continued for students. For a second consecutive year, no exams could be conducted for classes 1 to 10 due to the pandemic. All students were promoted to the next class.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan