In a public interest litigation petition that came up for hearing before a division bench of Justice M Duraiswamy and Justice K Murali Shankar, the petitioner Abdul from Tirunelveli said the State government had reopened schools for students of classes 9 to 12 after a long break, while the other students were attending classes online.
The students who had to attend classes in person faced the risk of infection because vaccination for those in the age group of 18 and below has not yet been approved, said the petitioner, adding that experts have cautioned that children were at risk during the third COVID wave.
Despite these, some schools were compelling students to attend classes in person, he alleged, adding that the standard operating procedure was not being followed properly by some of the schools. Some parents were not satisfied with online classes and wanted their children to be physically present in classrooms. Such a situation leads to increased risk of failure in maintaining physical distancing in classrooms.
Citing these, the petitioner sought an interim stay on the Government Order reopening classes for a section of students.
The bench then said if the petitioner furnished details about schools that were compelling the students to attend classes, the government would take action against them. The bench then directed the School Education Department Secretary to respond and adjourned the case to September 30.