The Madurai bench of Madras High Court suggested that the government of Tamil Nadu reopen schools and colleges after December. The state government had permitted educational institutions in Tamil Nadu to resume functioning from November 16. However, after it faced flak from multiple stakeholders, the state government had arranged for a public consultation at school level across the state on November 12, in which parents and teachers were invited to offer their inputs on this decision by the government.
According to reports, the court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one Ramprasad from Uthamapalayam in Theni district seeking a court order to quash the government order allowing reopening of schools, colleges and hostels across the state on November 16. In his petition, Ramprasad had stated that there is a chance that coronavirus will spread swiftly among the student population if the educational institutions are reopened now. He also contended that since there are students from other districts and states studying in Tamil Nadu’s colleges, there are chances that the virus might even spread among the general population and pointed out that even till date, many schools and colleges are being used for providing treatment for those affected by COVID-19. The case came up for hearing before a bench consisting of Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice Pugazhendhi on Wednesday.
To this petition, the state government responded that a public consultation was conducted on November 12 across schools in Tamil Nadu, in which opinions were sought from parents and teachers regarding the reopening of schools on November 16. The government said that most parents have requested not to reopen educational institutions at this point in time.
The bench remarked that in a time when even judges are getting infected due to coronavirus, the reopening of educational institutions can be pushed to after December. The court also advised the state government to take a decision keeping in mind the situation of students in other states and the state of the pandemic there.