Primary education in mother tongue, English teacher in primary schools: Babush

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 31 March 2011 19:04 IST

Babush smiling after annoucing education policy

Goa government has decided to maintain the status quo of giving grants to the primary school imparting education in mother tongue or local language, but not English.

As announced earlier amidst people’s agitation for and against primary education in English, education minister tonight declared its ‘policy decision’ on the controversial issue.

"The government has decided to retain the existing system with primary standard from first to fourth in mother tongue and upper primary with standard fifth to seventh in English," Monseratte told the Assembly, after a heated debate for almost four hours.

In order to help the students to shift over from local language to English medium in the fifth standard, the minister also announced to recruit English teacher in each primary school.

The issue had erupted suddenly with over 10,000 parents and teachers holding a huge rally at Azad Maidan on 21 March, supported by the Church-supported Diocesan Society of Education.

As a result, almost all Christian legislators in the Congress and the NCP including education minister Monseratte had attended the rally.

In retaliation, the educationists, teachers and parents on the other side had set up Bharati Bhasha Suraksha Manch, headed by former chief minister Shashikala Kakodkar, demanding that the government policy should not be changed.

In 1991, when Kakodkar was the education minister, the state government had decided not to give grants to English medium primary schools run by private institutions.

Though it was also decided not to promote English medium at primary level, the subsequent governments however had permitted over 100 unaided private English medium primary schools.

The Church-run DSE had however overnight shifted to Konkani medium primary schools, upholding the international convention of imparting primary education to the child in the mother tongue.

Instead of following similar convention, most of the government primary schools however continued in Marathi medium, barring few Konkani medium schools.

Pressure on the other side started mounting on the Digambar Kamat-led government as the Bharati Bhasha Suraksha Manch started organising village-wise meetings, opposing any change in the policy. They have planned a rally in Panaji on 6 April.

In addition, Swami Ramdev Baba’s Bharat Swabhiman also supported the Manch, while Assembly elections are round the corner.

Though most of the Christian legislators (barring ministers) tonight spoke in favour of changing its policy, the education minister however announced the status quo would be maintained.

The BJP and MGP legislators however demanded that the government should not change the policy.

While retaining the same policy, it appears the government has tried to pacify the agitators by announcing recruitment of English teacher in each primary school to help the child to shift over to English medium in the fifth standard.

Monseratte has also announced that his new education policy, on the lines of central government’s Right to Education Act, would be announced on 11 April. The ongoing Assembly session would end on 8 April.

Supporters of English medium have demanded that English be included as the medium of instruction in the RTE rules.

The government has now decided set up state advisory council to frame the RTE rules for Goa.

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Previous Comments

Babush Monserrate himself needs classes from KG. Atleasts after his arrests and public statements that he did not understand ENGLISH, he must agree now that ENGLISH is an ESSENTIAL language and that it needs to be taught from basics. Babush take some classes yourself and see the change...... Go to school and get educated first......

Can't believe we vote for politicians like these...... UNDEDUCATED becoming an EDUCATION MINISTER ................... what a laugh

- Rosy, Goa | 05 th April 2011 16:20


This is only temporising. The matter does not end there come 11th April.

Much will depend on who will be part of the 'advisory council'. They should make doubly sure, that, the so-called 'educationists' who have vested interests or are even remotely connected with such 'interests' should not be part of that advisory council.

There should not be any politics, putting one language against another or link with vote bank, in this.

Then there is the question of whether any of the provisions of the RTE Act, 2009 are mutilated or are trampled on or contravened, against the spirit and the letter, by the announcement of the stop-gap interim measure announcement in order to maintain the status-quo.

It's in everyone's interest not to put at stake, the future of young minds, in furtherance of any particular language versus a child's right to education, be it in any language, so long as the deprived ones, get their legitimate share of education and instruction, the government endeavoured to impart to all children.

- Ludovico, Old-Goa | 02 nd April 2011 12:12


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