The Telangana High Court on Tuesday stayed the state government’s order to reopen educational institutions for a week, News18 reported. The institutions were closed in view of the coronavirus pandemic that broke out in the country in January last year and classes were being held online.

On August 23, the state government had ordered reopening of all government and private educational institutions, including Anganwadi centers, from September 1, reported Mint.

“The education system in the state has suffered a lot because of the prevailing situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had said. “In this wake, we have studied the measures and strategies of different states in the country to reopen educational institutions.”

Citing reports from the medical and the health department, Rao had said that the coronavirus situation was under control as compared to the previous months.

During Tuesday’s hearing, the High Court observed that physical attendance was not mandatory and also directed the state government not to force students to come to school. “Do not take action against students who do not attend live classes,” it said.

The High Court also told the government not to take action against educational institutions who have decided not to resume physical classes.

It has asked the government to file a detailed report on measures taken to reopen schools across the state by October 4. “Guidelines should be issued to schools conducting direct teaching,” the court added.

The High Court said that hostels in gurukuls and educational institutions cannot be opened as well.