Describing the West Bengal school education board’s decision to reopen institutions from November 16 as “unscientific”, a PIL was filed before the Calcutta High Court on Monday seeking formation of an expert committee for reviewing the COVID-19 situation and providing necessary recommendations to the government in the matter. The petitioner claimed that students up to the age of 18 years are yet to be vaccinated, and physical classes would only increase the chances of COVID-19 transmission among them.
The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) had on October 29 issued a notification for reopening schools for students of classes IX to XII from November 16 with certain guidelines on maintenance of COVID-19 protocols. It specified different time slots for secondary and higher secondary students.
Praying that the notice is quashed, the petitioner sought the appointment of an expert committee that would assess the current situation and then provide suggestions to the government. The public interest litigation (PIL) said that the government should go by the recommendations of the committee and take its decision on reopening schools accordingly. The petitioner, a lawyer by profession, said that the PIL is likely to be mentioned before the court of the chief justice later this week.