Hyderabad: The department of education served notices to 12 private schools for staying open despite government orders in the wake of COVID-19.

On 17 March, the Hyderabad School Parents Association (HSPA) said that the Star School in Khairtabad was still open. A source, on the condition of anonymity, told HSPA that students of the school have been asked to attend classes but not wear their uniform or carry schoolbags. The source further said, “The classes are being taken in upper floor classes. Away from sight. The staff has been told not to enter biometric attendance. The aayas have been told to stay away from the ground floor.”

On 14 March, the Telangana government had ordered all educational institutions, from pre-primary schools to universities, to remain shut till 31 March as a precautionary measure against further spread of the novel Coronavirus. However, after reports that several schools were kept open, the education department served notices to 12 private schools on 16 March. These schools include VIP International School at Saidabad, Charminar, and Bahadurpura, Spring Field School at Charminar, Shireen Public School at Secunderabad, Kushboo School, Joshua School, and Sunrise School at Shaikpet, Rosary Convent School and All Saints High School at Gunfoundry, Little Flower School at Abids, and St. Marks Boys Town School at Bahadurpura. Notices have been issued to these schools while further action is being initiated for disobeying government orders.

Several private schools said the move to shut down schools was sudden, leaving them unprepared. Amarnath Vasireddy, chairman of Slate School, Abids, said, “Many private schools are SSC exam centres. We will need teachers to conduct the exams and distribute SSC hall tickets. Even if schools are closed, exams have not been cancelled, so this means some schools have to work to ensure the exams are smoothly conducted,” he said.

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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