As India's COVID-19 cases continue to rise and educational institutes remain shut, a morphed Aaj Tak graphic misleadingly claims that the government has already decided the dates for reopening of schools and colleges in the country. BOOM found that the news graphic announcing the government's decision is doctored.
Under its 'Unlock 2' guidelines, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has clearly stated that schools and colleges will not be allowed to reopen till July 31. The MHA has not come up with any guidelines on the reopening of schools and colleges after the end of July, yet.
One of the two news graphics from Aaj Tak HD channel displays PM Modi's picture with a caption in Hindi reading, "Modi Government has issued an order for reopening of schools and colleges. The government has green lit the reopening of these institutes" (Translated from: स्कूल कॉलेज खोलने पर मोदी सरकार का आदेश जारी सरकार की तरफ से हरी झंडी)
BOOM received this image on its WhatsApp helpline with the request for verification.
A Facebook post talks about the same order but does not have PM Modi's picture. View archive here.
BOOM also received another news graphic of India News which reads "Home Ministry has allowed all states to reopen schools" ( Translated from: गृह मंत्रालय ने सभी राज्यों को स्कूल खोलने की परमिशन दी). The Ministry of Home Affairs debunked the same message on May 26, 2020.
Fake Aaj Tak News Clipping
On performing a reverse image search with the Aaj Tak HD clipping breaking news about the government reopening schools, BOOM found that the text format on this graphic does not follow Aaj Tak HD's text format. We could not find this video on the news channel's social media channels.
BOOM compared the viral graphic with Aaj Tak HD's other graphics. Firstly, the picture suggesting that the Modi government has decided on reopening of schools and colleges, does not fit into the frame below the breaking news. Secondly, Modi is written differently in both the pictures. The font size in the template is larger than the normal template followed by Aaj Tak HD.
MHA Denies Issuing School Reopening Notice
The India News screenshot has been viral since May, 2020. Following this screenshot, the Ministry of Home Affairs took to Twitter to clarify that they have not announced any notifications relating to the reopening of schools and colleges.
#FactCheck— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) May 26, 2020
Claim: MHA permits all States to open schools.
Fact: No such decision taken by MHA. All Educational institutions are still prohibited to open, throughout the country.#FakeNewsAlert#COVID19#IndiaFightsCoronavirus pic.twitter.com/mSWfIDWwNs
In its June 29 guidelines for Unlock 2, the MHA clarified that educational institutes will continue to remain shut till July 31. However, the Ministry of Human Resource Development did permit schools and colleges to begin online classes for students that were not giving final year examinations.
According to news reports, the Ministry is asking states to consult parents before reaching a final decision with regards to reopening schools.
Updated On: 2020-07-22T12:12:03+05:30
Claim Review : Modi government has asked states to reopen schools and colleges
Claimed By : Facebook, news media
Fact Check : False