SC denies reopening schools, says cannot direct states for this
With the ongoing situation of Covid-19 pandemic in India, many are expecting schools to reopen in their states as cases have been significantly controlled in many of them. Following this, a student had filed a plea in the Supreme Court to reopen the schools which the apex court has strictly denied.
The Supreme Court on Monday made it clear that it will not be interfering with State affairs especially when it comes to reopening of schools. The SC also asked the student who had filed the petition to focus on studies and not on filing petitions in the court.
The plea had reportedly asked the top court to order the centre and states to consider reopening of schools for offline teaching. To the plea of a class 12 student, the court said, “It is not a matter where judicial directions can be issued.”
The two-judge bench consisting of DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathnam dismissed the plea saying, “Tell the child to focus on studies and not on filing petitions…I am not saying it’s a publicity gimmick but the kind of relief that has been sought, is misplaced.”
The bench stressed that there are different states with different pandemic situations going on and it cannot be a one size fits all case. They further asserted that they cannot enforce states to ensure all children are going to schools as it should be left on the state government to decide.
Things are complicated when it comes to younger children. Even though classes for higher studies have started, doing the same for the junior studies is complex procedure and it is also risky in nature, said the court. It also stressed on the need for teachers to be vaccinated.
The judges were critical of the petition that was filed as they constantly reminded the petitioner that the nation had recently witnessed a devastating visual of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. It also explained that many nations had already decided to open schools but the result was not positive for India to follow the same pattern.
As of now, Delhi along with Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka have reopened schools while Kerala has announced reopening of schools from November 1. The argument of the petitioner to the Supreme Court was that if schools were not opened in their physical form, underprivileged students were to bear its costs. “Underprivileged and voiceless children are at a disadvantaged position to avail online education,” Amar Prem Prakash, a student from Delhi.