Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court has asked the state government how private schools affiliated to the state board of school education were conducting classes without the academic year even commencing.
A division bench comprising chief justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and justice B. Vijaysen Reddy was hearing a public interest litigation filed by the Hyderabad School Parents Association seeking action against private schools that hold online classes and collect a term fee without permission.
Andavelli Sanjeev Kumar, special counsel for the government, said the academic year had commenced on June 12. The issue of online classes and fee has been referred to the cabinet sub-committee. Once it takes a decision, it would be informed to the High Court, Kumar said.
He said the government has issued instructions to private schools and colleges to refrain from holding classes till July 31, but the Centre had permitted private schools to go ahead with online classes.
Adinaranayana Rao, representing a group of private CBSE schools, said they were holding online classes as per guidelines issued by CBSE and the National Council for Teachers Education. States like Delhi have completed two months of classes. This was for the benefit of students, otherwise they would will lose an academic year, he said.
The chief justice observed, “The state says it has referred this issue to the cabinet sub-committee, which is yet to take a decision. The government wants private schools to fleece the parents with exorbitant fees.”
Justice Chauhan noted the dire circumstances caused by the pandemic which had affected guest workers and construction workers and even the High Court, where nearly 20 employees working in the High Court registry are down with Covid-19. “Yesterday, the High Court has lost one of its employees working in the Judicial Academy,” he said.
While refusing to stop private schools without hearing them, the court directed the petitioner to implead all private schools which are holding online classes and the government to submit its policy decision on the matter. The Centre was directed to file its counter affidavit and the court posted the PIL to July 13 for hearing....