Bengal government school reopens for students, violates guidelines


Guwahati: A government school in Ghatal area of West Midnapore district of West Bengal reopened for students on August 12 for four hours, violating government guidelines on closure of educational institutes in India during the coronavirus pandemic.

The headmaster of Bidhan Chandra Ray High school caused a stir in the state by reopening the school on Wednesday.

According to India Today report, located in Ghatal sub-division near Daspur police station of West Midnapore district, the school held classes for students appearing for boards this year and the Principal justified flouting of all guidelines of Central and State Governments.

Vrindavan Ghatak, the Headmaster defended, “There was a request from students and parents for some time now that whether we can have classes of tenth-grade students. So we experimented with the social distancing, took all kinds of precautions and held the classes for about four hours. However, as soon as the matter was highlighted, it was stopped on the instructions of the education department. I started school without the permission of the education department on the advice of the parents hence I will accept whatever punishment the education department gives.”

There were several students who came to study for the board examinations despite no clarity on what will happen in the educational calendar of these students.

The school has around 1000 students on any normal day but even as the classes opened for around 4 hours there were approximately 100 students who came together in these classrooms with around six teachers on the premises.

Sources say that the parents had pleaded repeatedly to help the students who are below average in the last report cards and could not afford the best teaching facility online due to lack of resources.

The Headmaster had taken permission from the school committee but no permission was taken from the education department despite being a government school.

Tuhinbaran Adhigiri, the additional school inspector at the education department stated, “We didn’t know about it. At present, we have come to investigate the matter on the instructions of the higher authorities. I will send the necessary reports to the senior officers.”

The incident is the first in the country since the lockdown was imposed. Very few students were present on the first day and hence very few topics were discussed. The school claims it maintained the orders of social distancing and the students were seated within a certain distance.