IHC rejects petition to reopen schools from Aug 15

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Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday disposed of a petition filed by private school owners seeking the opening of schools, stating that it is the government’s job to formulate a policy on the matter and the court will not interfere.
The case was heard before IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, who said that the elected government is answerable to the people and the government would take a decision after assessing the situation.
During the hearing, the petitioners’ lawyer maintained that all educational institutions have remained shut in past months due to the coronavirus pandemic. This has led to problems for school owners but the government does not care, he argued, adding that appeals have been made but no decision has been taken yet. It’s not just school owners but also students’ education that is being affected, remarked Justice Minallah. It would be incorrect to say that the matter has not come to the government’s attention, he observed.
It is the job of the government to formulate a policy on the matter and the court will not interfere, remarked Justice Minallah. He directed the petitioners to approach the relevant authorities not through individuals but through the association.
Educational institutes in the country have been shut since the pandemic hit the country in efforts to contain the spread of the virus and ensure protection for students. During this time several schools and varsities have opted for online classes but repeated appeals have also been made by school owners to reopen the institutes. The provincial education ministers, on July 8, had agreed to reopen all educational intuitions across the country in the first week of September. The decision was taken during an inter-provincial education ministers’ conference, presided over by Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood.