Andhra Pradesh Minister for Education Adimulapu Suresh on Friday clarified that the claims about schools in the state being shut from March were false. A fake circular went viral on social media on Friday, claiming that the state government had declared holidays for all schools and colleges from March 1 to May 4, in order to contain coronavirus infections. The false news was circulated days after a few districts in Maharashtra went into lockdown, with Jalna district announcing the shutdown of schools and colleges till the end of March.
Noting that Andhra Pradesh was among the first states in the country to fully reopen schools for all classes in a phased manner, the Education Minister said that classes for school students for the current academic year will continue till June. ‚ÄúThe syllabus has been condensed and the academic calendar has also been issued. We are at a stage where schools and colleges have almost returned to normalcy. Yet, fake news like this is becoming viral,‚ÄĚ he said, adding that the Directorate of School Education and other relevant authorities have been directed to take action against those spreading such misinformation by registering cases under cybercrime.
Schools in Andhra Pradesh have been reopened in a phased manner, starting from classes 9 and 10 in November. Recently, in the first week of February, schools were reopened for all classes including primary grades, ten months after they were closed because of the pandemic. In spite of reopening before most other states, teachers and students of elementary and middle school grades have been left with only four to five months of classroom teaching for the current academic year.
As schools remained shut for several months, private school managements have been directed to collect only 70% of the yearly fees collected in the previous academic year. Even in cases where schools have conducted online classes throughout the year, only 70% of the fees must be collected, the Education Minister said.