HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court on Friday directed the State government to make its stand clear regarding a policy decision on the conduct of online classes for schoolchildren in the State. Refusing to pass an order directing private schools to refrain from holding online classes as pleaded by the petitioner, a division bench of the High Court made it clear that it will pass orders only after hearing all the parties concerned.
The bench directed the petitioner’s counsel to implead the Central government, National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) as parties to the case. The bench passed the order in the PIL filed by the Hyderabad Schools Parents’ Association, represented by its joint secretary K Venkat Sainath, seeking direction to the authorities concerned to take action against private schools managements for conducting online classes and for collecting fee in violation of GO. 46 issued on April 21, 2020.
Senior counsel Adinarayana Rao, appearing for a group of private schools, submitted that private schools in the State have been holding online classes for the last two months as per guidelines issued by the CBSE and NCTE. On the other hand, special counsel A Sanjeev Kumar, told the court that the State has not yet taken any decision on the issue. The issue was referred to a cabinet sub-committee, which is yet to take a decision. The State has already issued instructions to all private schools and colleges to refrain from holding classes till July 31, but the Centre has permitted private schools to conduct online classes.
The panel expressed its concern for the parents and students of weaker sections who cannot afford online education. After hearing both sides, the bench directed the petitioner’s counsel to implead all private schools holding online classes despite clear instructions from the State. It also directed the State to file a counter affidavit on the issue and posted the matter to July 13 for further hearing.