West Bengal: No 'immediate plan' to close schools, colleges as Covid cases surge | Mint – Mint

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  • West Bengal reported 2,950 new Covid-19 cases on Friday with a positivity rate of 16.92%.

KOLKATA : The West Bengal government does not immediately plan to shut down educational institutions, even as the state is seeing an exponential rise in Coivd-19 cases. 
West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu on Friday said the decision to shut down schools, colleges, universities remain with the state health Department. However, he reiterated that the state government does not immediately plan to close schools and colleges.
“We will act as per the advice of the Health Department. Nothing immediate is on the cards,” he said, replying to a question.
The education minister on being enquired about the students’ union elections in the colleges and universities said that the government wants to conduct it at the earliest.
“We are watching the emerging Covid-19 situation. A decision will be taken on the union polls based on it,” he said.
West Bengal reported 2,950 new Covid-19 cases on Friday with a positivity rate of 16.92%. Three more people died in the state, while active cases rose to 18,856, as per the Health Department.
Basu warned school and college teachers who provide private tuition of strict action.
The minister was speaking at a programme in which two TMC-backed teachers’ organisations joined hands to resolve academic issues.
All Bengal State Government College Teachers‘ Association and West Bengal College and University Professors’ Association came together to work for the interest of the teaching community, their leaders said.
The government was committed to ensure that teachers of colleges and universities get their dues and their careers progress, the minister said.
He said he would be available for two hours at the TMC headquarters every Friday to interact with teachers and address their problems.
On BJP leader Dilip Ghosh daring the state government to arrest him for his comments on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Basu said, “The TMC government does not believe in the politics of imprisoning people.”
“He made very objectionable remarks. We were hurt by his comments and wanted him to apologise. Instead, he is bragging that he is ready to be arrested. This is unbecoming of a senior political leader,” the minister said.
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