Schools and colleges in Telangana were expected to open after the Dussehra break (that began on 28 September) on 14 October. But anticipating that the bus strike in the state would hamper students, the government decided to extend the festival vacation by a week till 20 October. Despite the order, some educational institutions, worried about lagging behind in finishing the syllabus, conducted classes for class 10 and Intermediate students (11 and 12 class), for who board exams are just four months away. The IIT Mains exams are scheduled in January.
But the Education department would have none of it. It conducted surprise checks and censured those found conducting classes. Deccan Chronicle reports that 50 corporate colleges in Hyderabad, Medchal and Ranga Reddy districts have been fined Rs one lakh for each day they held classes.
Slow clap for the diligence and enthusiasm shown by the Telangana Education department in ensuring students suffered and wasted time with no classes being held.
The story did not end there, it got more bizarre. The institutions reopened on 21 October even though the bus strike was still on. This begs the question that if the bus strike was the reason why the government would not allow any teaching to take place in Telangana, how was the situation any different post 21 October. How can the government react differently when the situation on the ground was the same?
What it basically exposes is the arbitrary manner in which the Education department functions. Without a care for the academic curriculum, the pressure of finishing the syllabus well in time, leaving enough time for revision, the worry that students and parents go through, all the Education department is bothered about is to levy penalty.
It would have done better if it had gone out of its way by lobbying with the powers-that-be to ensure students were not put to inconvenience in reaching their classes.