A political turn :
With the Assembly Elections round the corner, what’s hotting up in Goa is MoI. Should it be Konkani, Marathi or English?
The BBSM (Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch), is all set to float its own political party. Primarily, to support its stand on making the regional languages like Konkani and Marathi the MoI. In this connection, the ex-RSS ( Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) chief Subhash Velingkar has joined the BBSM to contest the elections. His main intention : making the regional languages as Medium of Instruction in the state, and to stop aid to the minority-run, English medium primary schools, especially government aided ones.
But the BJP Government, though a staunch supporter of the RSS and BBSM (Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch), has reiterated its stand that it would not withdraw grants given to the minority-run English-medium primary schools in the state. This has caused a furore among the BBSM.
BJP MP Narendra Sawaikar said, “BJP is a political party and we believe in taking all people along. We respect the decision of RSS to support mother tongue, but our stand on Medium of Instruction (MoI) will continue to be the same’. as peer a TOI report.
Parents Know Best!
Unsure of the government’s decision on the MoI, a group of parents came together to form “FORCE”…a force to reckon with! The brainchild of Savio Lopes, the group has been fighting tooth-and-nail for English to be made the medium of instruction and English primary schools to be given grants. As grants are required to cover teacher salaries, equipment and building expenses.
In 1991, English-medium primary schools were declared ineligible for grants, but this position was reversed in 2011.
FORCE is agitating for the government to include its policy for grants for English-medium schools into the Education Act and Rules. “Three assembly sessions have passed since then and nothing has happened,” said Cynthia Fernandes, treasurer of Force. “They have to do it during this assembly session. This is our only demand.”
Several people reiterated that they were not opposed to the Konkani language. But they wanted to ensure their children have the language skills necessary to progress in today’s world, they said. If English schools are forced to be privatised, then they will be forced to increase their fee structure. This will in-turn affect the common man. Making it totally out of reach of the poor.
India is one of the largest Democracies of the world. Right to education is one of our constitutional rights. Every state has the prerogative to enforce its regional / state language, but the necessity of written and spoken English in schools must be kept in mind.
We hope better sense prevails and the Government considers giving English it’s due at least for the sake of the minority and poor in Goa.