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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

HC junks plea challenging state govt order to reopen schools for classes 9-12

Welcoming the high court’s order, state Education Minister Bratya Basu said the government will leave it to parents and students to decide if they will send their wards for offline classes.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
November 12, 2021 3:56:51 am

Dismissing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the state government’s decision to reopen schools for classes 9 to 12 from November 16, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday said offline classes will resume as per schedule.

Sudip Ghosh Chowdhury, a lawyer, had filed the PIL alleging that the state had taken the decision to resume classes from 9 to 12 in haste and without any proper planning.

The PIL sought the formation of an expert committee for reviewing the Covid-19 situation and sending necessary recommendations to the government in the matter. It further said that the students till the age of 18 years are yet to be vaccinated and physical classes would raise the risks of infection among them.

The court, however, disposed of the petition saying that the schools will reopen as per schedule. While junking the plea, the division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice R Bharadwaj said parents or students may approach authorities if they have any issue over resumption of on-campus classes.

Welcoming the high court’s order, state Education Minister Bratya Basu said the government will leave it to parents and students to decide if they will send their wards for offline classes.

“We welcome the order. We have asked the schools to ensure that Covid-19 protocols are followed and buildings sanitised. We will, however, not force the parents to send their children for physical classes,” Basu said.

In a notification, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and the West Bengal and West Bengal Council for Higher Secondary Examination had recommended reopening of schools for students of Classes 9 to 12 from November 16, while strictly maintaining Covid-19 protocols.

According to the notification, classes for standards 9 and 11 will be held from 9: 30am to 3.30pm, while those for classes 10 and 12 will start from 10:30am and go on till 4: 30pm.

Meanwhile, the total number of Covid-19 cases in Bengal till date crossed 16 lakhs on Thursday, with the state having recorded 16,01586 Covid cases so far. In the past 24 hours, Bengal reported 854 new Covid-19 cases. On Wednesday, the number of new cases was 853.

A health bulletin said 13 people died due to the infection during the day.

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