A fake ‘government order’ is being circulated online to claim that Andhra Pradesh’s chief minister has announced holidays for schools and colleges in the state, in light of increasing COVID-19 cases, from 1 March to 4 May.
The Chief Minister’s Office confirmed to The Quint’s WebQoof team that the claim is false and there has been no announcement for closure of schools or colleges.
The text in the viral image states that the chief minister of AP had issued a government order (GO) to “all education departments,” announcing holidays from 1 March to 4 May for all schools and colleges.
The Quint also received a query regarding the image on its WhatsApp helpline.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
There are several grammatical errors and oddly capitalised words in the middle of a sentence in the text. ‘School’ and ‘college’ should be in plural, while ‘march’ and ‘may’ should be capitalised, unlike ‘Holiday’ and ‘Increasing.’ Words like ‘Andra’ (Andhra), ‘restictions’ (restrictions) and ‘Cheif’ (Chief) have been misspelt.
Clearly, this ‘government order’ is fake, as an authentic order would not have such mistakes.
Further, we found neither any credible news report regarding the announcement, nor a government order on AP’s official website.
We also looked up other government orders by the department of school education on the website, a sample of which can be viewed below. Comparing this to the viral image shows that such an order does not have pictures of the CM and only contains uniform text, specifying the order number and date.
The Quint then reached out to the Chief Minister’s Office, which confirmed that no such announcement regarding the closure of schools or colleges in the state had been made.
The CMO further stated that even the primary sections of the school had resumed functioning now.
Colleges and schools for classes nine to twelve had resumed in Andhra Pradesh on 2 November last year and for classes six to eight on 23 November. Whereas, primary students of classes one to five also started going to school from 1 February, this year.
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