August 12, 2021 1:20:00 am
Surat District Education officer H H Rajyaguru Wednesday issued a penalty notice of Rs 10,000 to Gajera school in Katargam which was allegedly conducting offline classes for class 8 students amid the Covid-19 pandemic, violating the state government’s notification.
“The school authorities said that they had called class 8 students in different groups to submit assignments and rectify doubts. As the school authorities have violated government notification, we have slapped penalty notice of Rs 10,000 to them,” Rajyaguru told The Indian Express. The state government, through a notification, has permitted only classes 9 to 12 with 50 per cent capacity in view of the pandemic.
On August 4, Surat Municipal officials issued notices to Gajera School after a video purportedly showing its Class 8 students attending offline classes was shared on social media, while the district education officer (DEO) ordered an inquiry into the incident.
After the went viral, a team from Katargam police station along with Surat municipal health officials and dstrict education office teams reached the school. The school authorities immediately asked the students to leave the premises. The students told the authorities that they had been coming to the school for three days after getting a consent letter from parents. The municipal authority had shut the school for two days. Meanwhile, police took statements of the school principal and controlled the situation.
No police offence has been registered in this connection till date. However, the DEO teams took statements of school teachers, principal, students who were present on the spot and prepared a report of their findings. On the basis of the report, the Surat DEO issued a penalty notice of Rs. 10,000 to the school authorities.
Gajera School is run by Shantaben Haribhai Gajera charitable trust. Over 2000 students study in the school in both morning and afternoon sessions.
The school belongs to diamond and real estate developers — Vasant Gajera and Chinu Gajera, brothers of former BJP MLA Dhiru Gajera, who was recently re-inducted into the BJP. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had, on the sidelines of a public event on August in Vadodara, told mediapersons that the state government will not entertain any violation of its notifications.
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