Thursday 30 May 2024

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Society | Education

Massive rally to demand grants for English education

 

A massive rally held at Azad Maidan today evening demanded government grants for private primary schools imparting education in English medium.

The rally was organised by the Forum for Rights of Children's Education (FORCE), a forum that has emerged through series of meetings of Parents’ Teachers’ Associations belonging to the Archdiocesan Society of Education owned by Goa’s Church.

Goa government, in 1992, had decided to give salary grants to privately managed primary schools, provided the medium of instruction is in Indian language, the local Konkani or other languages like Marathi, Urdu and mother tongue of several migrants.

As a result, the private schools owned by the Church were converted into Konkani medium schools.

But many parents started shifting to unaided private primary schools imparting education in English.

“We are not opposed to Konkani or Marathi. You make it a compulsory subject and give grants to English medium private primary schools”, said Savio Lopes, secretary of FORCE while addressing the rally in Panaji.

Incidentally, the rally was also attended by quite a few Congress MLAs representing predominantly Christian areas, including education minister Babush Monseratte.

These MLAs included Churchill Alemao from Navelim, Joaquim Alemao from Cuncolim, Alex Sequeira from Loutolim, Jose Philip D'Souza from Vasco – all ministers as well as Alex Reginald Lawrence from Curtorim, Agnel Fernandes from Calangute, Francis Silveira from St Andre, Mickky Pacheco from Benaulim and few others.

The issue was also discussed in the ongoing Assembly session when Cortalim MLA Mauvin Godinho raised the issue during Zero Hour. Responding to it, Monseratte assured the House to work out of a solution by end of the session, 8 April.

Tomazinho Cardozo, former speaker and a retired headmaster, alleged that a conspiracy has been hatched against Diocesan-run schools by denying them grants.

According to him, the government has gone back on its assurance not to allow permissions to English medium private primary schools and allowed 127 schools in last two decades.

The issue has come up as the state is expected to ratify and adopt the Right to Education Act, which also states that a child would be imparted education in mother tongue till standard VIII.

The state is also expected to include Std V in primary sector, which is up to Standard IV till date.


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