MoI bill in March session, Select Com finds discrepancies

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 08 January 2016 21:42 IST

As predicted by goanews.com, neither the select committee report nor the amendment bill on the Medium of Instruction issue will come up in the five-day winter Assembly session beginning from Monday.

“The select committee will submit draft of the bill along with the report in the budget session scheduled in March”, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar told goanews.com.

The select committee however met today with full strength, except Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party’s sole representative on the committee – Ponda MLA Lavoo Mamledar.

While two earlier meetings discussing practically nothing, Parsekar was happy that today’s meeting had elaborate discussion on several aspects.

“We have found major discrepancies in the cabinet decision and the draft bill which needs to be corrected”, he said.

Though he did not elaborate on all, Parsekar agreed that allowing minority institutions to run English medium primary schools with government grants was not part of the cabinet decision.

However, none of the eight members opposed the present government policy to continue government grants to Church-run English medium primary schools and its inclusion in the bill, he said.

The meeting also felt that the bill should be in tune with Goa’s education policy.

As told by the CM, education secretary Virendra Kumar suggested that the bill should also be in tune with the National Education Policy, which is on the stage of finalisation.

The committee thus directed education department to study the draft bill more carefully.

“Some members have also asked for some more data on the whole issue of primary education in the state”, said Parsekar, not elaborating what kind of data.

He however felt confident that the draft of the bill would be finalised in the next meeting, which he said is next to impossible to hold before the session starts on Monday.

Till then, said Parsekar, the government policy of giving grants to the Church-run schools would continue.

Perhaps predicting this possibility, the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch – spearheaded by the RSS – has decided to intensify its agitation after the five-day session gets over, till February end.

The BBSM demands to scrap the bill, while opposing its policy to continue grants to Church-run primary schools in English medium.

The FORCE, demanding that grants policy be made a law, was assured by the government to pass the bill in the winter session.

BACKGROUND

The amendment bill was presented in the House on 19 August while it was referred to the select committee on 21 August last year.

The members of the committee are Nilesh Cabral, Pramod Sawant, Kiran Kandolkar and Rajan Naik of the BJP, Lavoo Mamledar of the MGP and Mauvin Godinho and Digambar Kamat of the Congress.

Section 5 of the Goa School Education (Amendment) Bill 2014, seeking amendment to Goa, Daman and Diu School Education Act 1984, states as under:

(5) No grants or aid in any form whatsoever shall be given or extended to any primary school within the State of Goa unless it has Konkani/Marathi or any of the languages envisaged in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India, as its medium of instruction imparting education:

Provided that the State Government may consider providing grants to minority schools having English as a medium of instruction and imparting education at the primary level subject to compliance with other provisions of this Act.

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