[lg policy] India: Medium of instruction policy is administrative solution: Goa CM

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 7 14:59:09 UTC 2012

Medium of instruction policy is administrative solution: Goa CM
TNN | Jun 7, 2012, 03.52AM IST

Read more:Prashant Naik|medium of instruction policy|Manohar Parrikar

PANAJI: Chief minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said his solution
to the medium of instruction (MoI) imbroglio was an administrative
one. "My personal opinion on MoI has not changed. The solution which I
have come out with is an administrative solution and in administration
you have to take into consideration all sections of society," Parrikar

Speaking to media persons after a cabinet meeting, Parrikar said, "You
cannot neglect society and cannot always force your viewpoint on
everyone and I found out a reasonable solution for the MoI issue." He
reiterated that it is better for a child to study in one's mother
tongue adding that in his personal view, primary education in
Konkani/Marathi in Goa would help in the holistic development of a
child considering the cultural ethos and the society he or she lives

There were mixed reactions to the MoI policy announced on Monday.
While Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha manch (BBSM)—the BJP-supported
organization that protested the Digambar Kamat-led government's
decision to release grants to English medium primary schools—has
maintained a stoic silence, some veterans like Konkani writer Uday
Bhembre and Konkani Bhasha Mandal president Prashant Naik have charged
Parrikar of adopting double standards.

While retaining the mother tongue as the MoI in the primary section,
the government on Monday announced that schools that had made the
shift to English in the last academic year would continue to get
government grants. The cabinet ratified the policy on Wednesday.

The government, however, hopes to give Konkani/Marathi education a
boost. The cabinet decided to relax the clause which disallows new
private Konkani/Marathi schools within a radius of 1km of existing
government Konkani/Marathi primary schools. Parrikar said this had
forced the opening of English medium schools.

"We have decided to relax this clause and any government school with
less than 40 students will not be taken into account while giving
permission to start new Konkani/Marathi primary schools," Parrikar
said. The government has received 40 applications to start new
regional language primary schools.

There are 152 private English primary schools in the state. "I hope
that out of these 152, at least 50 schools will switch over to
Konkani/Marathi if grants are made available," he said. Private
primaries that opt to switch from English to Konkani/Marathi will be
eligible for the one-time government grant of Rs 12 lakh announced on

"We have already received around five applications from schools to
switch from English to Konkani/Marathi. They had to start English
medium education because the government was not permitting them to
start Konkani/Marathi schools," Parrikar said.

Parrikar said there are around 39,000 students studying in
Konkani/Marathi schools while 52,000 are studying in the English
medium. "My target would be to enroll over 50,000 students in
Konkani/Marathi schools within the next three years," he added.

Parrikar also opined that the education sector should be "tension and
agitation free" and educationists should decide its future.


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