Schools and colleges in Telangana to conduct only online classes, rules government

Published : June 29, 2021 11:14 IST

Telangana Education Miniser Sabitha Indra Reddy. Photo: NAGARA GOPAL

It is finally official. Putting an end to the speculation of the last few days, the Telangana government declared on June 28 that starting July 1, only online classes will be conducted for students across all levels of education from Class 1 to post-graduate level in the State. There will be no physical (offline) classes.

The announcement directing educational institutions to conduct only online classes was made by the Telangana Education Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy on the directions of the Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

With the number of active COVID-19 infections falling to 14,303 and the test positivity ratio dipping to 0.9 per cent for the week ending June 27, the Telangana government had hinted that all educational institutions would reopen for physical classes from July 1, albeit with some restrictions, including a COVID-19 negative report for students before allowing them into campuses.

There has apparently been a change of thinking in the government. On June 26, members of the Progressive Recognised Teachers Union Telangana State (PRTUTS) met and requested the Chief Minister to issue instructions to defer temporarily the reopening of schools due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation. The PRTUTS was in favour of a continuation of online teaching, with 50 per cent of teachers in attendance. Parents and parents’ associations in Telangana, wary of sending their children to schools until the pandemic subsides, had publicly made their stand known that they were against the reopening of schools until it was totally safe. Many were also totally opposed to conducting classes in batches.

Interacting with mediapersons after meeting with Education Department officials on the possibility of reopening educational institutions, Sabitha Indra Reddy said online classes would soon be telecast through Doordarshan and the State’s own T-SAT network (part of the government’s Society for Telangana State Network (SoFTNET) initiative from the Department of Information Technology, Electronics and Communications) channels for schools and intermediate students. The Minister claimed that this decision has been appreciated by the Central government.

In a decision that will bring cheer to hundreds of thousands of parents, the Telangana government has directed that all private schools in the State would have to continue to implement government Order No. 46 this year as well. The order clearly specifies that private schools cannot increase the fees and can collect tuition fees only on a monthly basis.

In further relief to final year students, many of whom are preparing for higher education abroad, the Minister announced that there will not be any change in the final year degree, post-graduate, and diploma examination schedules. Sabitha Indra Reddy also said the government had seen to it that there were no changes in the dates of various common entrance tests for admissions into various professional courses.