Telangana High Court was hearing a plea by the Hyderabad Schools Parents’ Association who had appealed against schools conducting online classes.

Online classesBalakrishna Ganeshan /Image for representation
news Education Wednesday, July 01, 2020 - 18:06

Acknowledging the concerns of many parents in the state, the Telangana High Court on Wednesday pointed out that online classes may deprive children belonging to poor families of their right to education. Raising several questions in regard to the online classes being conducted by schools, the division bench headed by the Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan called upon the government to put forward its policy on online classes by Friday.

Responding to a Public Interest Litigation filed by the Hyderabad Schools Parents’ Association who had appealed against schools conducting online classes, the Telangana High Court on Wednesday asked if every parent could afford a smartphone or a laptop. The High Court then issued notices to the Telangana Education Department and state government, asking for their policy about online classes. 

The court observed that online classes have put additional burden on parents, especially those who have more than one child, as parents have to provide smartphones and laptops for every child so that they can attend these classes. The government’s counsel informed the High Court that no particular decision has been taken so far regarding online classes being conducted by schools. 

"The court was also of the opinion that it was pathetic that classes were being carried out for children even in the nursery and lower classes,” said HSPA Vice President Seema Agarwal.

Reacting to the developments in the High Court on Wednesday, Venkat Sainath, Joint Secretary, HSPA, said, "We are against online teaching, especially for students upto Class 6. The government needs to come  up with a concrete alternative about what it plans to do during the pandemic."

The High Court also mentioned that if any online classes are conducted as an excuse to collect the fees, in contravention of the government order 46 which forbade schools from increasing fees, parents have been asked to inform the District Education Officer concerned, for appropriate legal action on the schools which are violating the order.

When TNM reached out to the Higher Education Department Special Chief Secretary Chitra Ramachandran, she declined to comment as the matter is pending before the court. 

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