Are schools becoming law unto themselves?

Parents need not submit any COVID-19 test reports to the schools for their children to physically attend schools, clarifies TS Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar
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"Parents need not submit any COVID-19 test reports to the schools for their children to physically attend schools," clarifies TS Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar

Highlights

Schools reportedly seeking Covid – vetest reports to attend schools

Vidyanagar : Are schools in Hyderabad diplomatic missions and becoming a law unto themselves? Don't the laws and orders of the State and Central government have any value?

These are some of the questions bothering parents who are taking their wards to drop at some schools, the reason being thatprivate school managements are coming up with strange rules which are not only in violation of the National Disaster Management Act (NDMA), but also the guidelines and directives issued by the Centre and the State government.

The private schools are already accused of blatantly violating the GO No 46 issued by the Telangana government prohibiting collection of any fee other than the tuition fee.

Several schools have twisted the existing practice of giving fee receipts, with a detailed break-up of fees collected from the parents. Not only this, they chose not to bother to implement the payment of salaries to the teaching and non-teaching staff.

Reports appeared in the media of retrenched teaching staff taking recourse to sale of vegetables or seeking employment under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

In the latest instance, the guidelines issued by the Centre and the Telangana government under the National Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 have also been brazenly violated in the State by the private schools.

It may be mentioned here that at no point did the Centre or the State government issue any guidelines to seek submission of medical test reports indicating Covid-19 negative from the students or teachers to attend schools following resumption of physical classrooms from February 1.

Vijaya Lakshmi, (name changed),a parent of Class 9 student of a private school located in Himayatnagar,said she was prevented from entering the premises by the school staff, citing Covid-19 protocols.

"I just wanted to inspect what kind of preparations have been taken to keep the school safe for my child," she said. It is also learnt that another school nearby insisted on a Covidnegative test report from the students, including those who have taken hostel admission.

However, "no school is giving us any assurance or undertaking that the school is safe. Parents have to comply with whatever rules they make for our children as well as for us. But, they don't follow anything," said Krishna Murthy (name changed) from Malkajgiri.

When asked whether school imposing their own protocols in violation of the guidelines issued by the State and the Centre, Telangana State Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said, "Parents need not submit or give any COVID-19 test results for their wards physical attendance of the schools."

Violation of the directives and guidelines issued by the Centre and the State government and the district authorities under the NDMA and the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 would amount to committing a crime, said an official from the Malkajigiri District Collectorate.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad district education officials and the Hyderabad District Collector Sweta Mohanty said no incidents of schools insisting on parents to submit COIVD-19 test results for allowing their children into schools came to their notice.

They warned strict action would be taken against the schools resorting to such violations.

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