Ensure no break in education of children hit by COVID-19: SC

Court accepts amicus curiae’s suggestion

The Supreme Court has ordered the States and Union Territories to ensure there is no break in the education of children orphaned due to COVID-19.

“The State Governments/Union Territories are directed to make provisions for continuance of education of the children both in government as well as in private schools,” a Bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose ordered.

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The order, published on Tuesday, came after amicus curiae, advocate Gaurav Agrawal, raised apprehensions that these children may have to discontinue their education because of lack of funds, familial care or support.

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Mr. Agrawal had recommended the court to intervene and direct the States to make sure that the children impacted by the pandemic continue in the same school. He said States should be asked to pass directions that even children studying in private schools should continue in the same institutions for at least the next six months until some further arrangements could be worked out.

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“We accept the suggestion made by the amicus curiae relating to the education of the affected children. The State Government/Union Territories should ensure that there is no break in the education of children who have become orphans or lost either one parent during the pandemic,” the court ordered.

The Bench said it would examine other issues related to COVID-19 impacted children, including protection of their property rights of the children, their further education and employment opportunities and special care to be taken in respect of the girlchild. These issues would be taken up in the next hearing on June 27.

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