SHC directs Sindh govt to submit comments on closure of schools

Maqbool AhmedStaff Reporter

24th Aug, 2021. 05:54 pm

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday directed the provincial government to submit its comments on a petition challenging the closure of schools in the province.

The Human Rights Lawyers Forum has challenged the provincial government’s announcement of the closure of schools for an indefinite period due to the coronavirus in SHC.

The petition states that since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Sindh government has been issuing notifications from time-to-time for the closure of educational institutions.

The forum, in its plea, told the court that according to a notification the schools should have opened on August 20. It added that instead of opening the schools the provincial government on August 21 announced the closure of educational institutes for an indefinite period.

The petitioner said that the decision to close schools and switch to online classes has financially overburdened the poor parents as they have to now bear the expense of computer devices and the internet.

In the case of private schools, the petitioner pleaded that the parents are bearing the expenses of uniforms and stationery despite not sending their children to schools. It also added that the schools were facing difficulties in paying salaries to their staff.

The petitioner submitted that instead of fulfilling its constitutional obligation of providing education, the Sindh government is creating hurdles by keeping the schools and other educational institutions closed. It further submitted that coronavirus has affected all the institutions alike, but while the government has fully or partially allowed other sectors to operate it has singled out the education sector for closure.

The petition had listed Sindh chief secretary, special secretary education and literacy department and others as respondents in the petition.

A two-member bench, headed by SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh, after holding a preliminarily hearing directed the Sindh government to submit its comments. It also issued notices to the respondents to appear in the next hearing on September 15.

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