Telangana HC orders online classes until Feb 20

HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court on Wednesday ordered educational institutions in the state to conduct online classes given the current Covid-19 pandemic situation.

Three days after the reopening of educational institutions across the state, the court ordered them to provide online classes as well as physical classes for students who prefer the virtual mode given the pandemic situation.

The court gave the guidelines when hearing motions relating to the Covid situation in the state.

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Despite the persistence of the Covid threat, the state government announced the reopening of educational institutions from February 1, after extending the Sankranti vacation for 23 days.

All schools, colleges and universities have reopened but attendance has remained low as the state continues to report large numbers of Covid cases. With many students and even teachers suffering from Covid symptoms, the majority of private schools and colleges have not resumed physical classes.

Even in government-run institutions, the attendance percentage remained around 42%.

According to the education department, about 23,000 students out of 55,000 in 38,307 schools attended classes offline on February 2.

Many parents are still reluctant to send their children to school due to the continuing Covid threat. Due to the surge in Covid cases, the government had declared an early holiday in Sankranti from January 8 to 16, then extended it until January 30.

The state’s daily Covid tally remained above 2,500. As of Wednesday, the number of cases stood at 2,646. The test positivity rate (TPR) is about three percent. However, within the limits of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the TPR is around 5%. GHMC and the surrounding urban districts of Rangareddy and Medchal Malkajgiri continue to report 60% of daily cases.

Meanwhile, the High Court has also asked authorities to ensure strict enforcement of Covid rules in crowded places in Hyderabad. He ordered the government to ensure standards are met by everyone in bars and restaurants.

The court also asked the government to take action to implement the Covid rules during the Sammakka-Sarakka jatra. Likewise, he issued instructions to enforce Covid curbs during ‘Samatha Murthy Sahasrabdhi’ celebrations on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

The government has been told to ensure there is no spike in Covid cases once again due to negligence. The Advocate General was asked to inform the court of the measures taken against those who violate Covid standards. Ordering the government to submit a report on the matter in two weeks, the court adjourned the hearing until February 20.

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