Goa: Govt will protect interest of Konkani, Marathi:

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Sat Jun 17 13:41:28 UTC 2006

>>From the Goan Herald,

Govt will protect interest of Konkani, Marathi: Luizinho

PANJIM, JUNE 15 No language politics in education please, is what
Education Minister Luizinho Faleiro said on Thursday as a cross section of
political parties continued to criticise the Government over the `impact
on the States regional languages with the introduction of English at Std
I-II. Addressing a press conference, Faleiro said that the decision to
introduce English as an oral subject was a progressive step which in no
way would interfere with the policy of promoting vernacular languages at
the primary level.

Faleiro added, We will protect Konkani, Marathi and other language schools
in the State. It is learnt that nearly 20,000 students from Std I-II will
be covered this year with the introduction of English as an oral subject.
Faleiro said, I do not want to repeat the mistake of confining knowledge
(of English) to certain sections who can afford it in unaided schools.
 In his opinion unaided English schools should also be asked to
compulsorily introduce regional vernacular languages.  He also regretted
that Goa was trailing behind other States as far as spoken and written
English in primary schools was concerned. Faleiro pointed out that he had
not taken an unilateral decision in introducing English at Std I-II . The
decision was the outcome of a series of deliberations with academicians
and educationists since June last year. It also includes the Goa Board,
Department of Education, Goa Education Advisory Board and several others,
he said.

ENGLISH SCHOOLS: He also clarified that the relaxation in the distance
criteria for opening of schools has no malafide intentions.  He said that
the Department receives hundreds of applications every year for setting up
new English medium schools and that the Government is not obliged to clear
them all.  The cases will be taken up when there is a need, he said. He
also pointed out that the Governments since 2001 have allowed opening of
English medium schools .  Earlier, former chief minister Shashikala
Kakodkar called on the Education Minister to discuss various issues
pertaining to Marathi medium schools.


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