Local Goa News

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

MoI decision further delayed as govt appoints committee

Bhaskar Nayak to head advisory committee on MoI; panel to study system of grants to government aided schools for primary education

PANJIM: Under pressure from all sides, the Laxmikant Parsekar government has decided to revisit the contentious medium of instruction (MoI) issue. On Tuesday it announced the constitution of a 17-member advisory committee under the chairmanship of Director of Higher Education Bhaskar Nayak for wider consultation and to facilitate a government decision on the matter.
The committee, directed to submit its report within 120 days, shall study the system of grants and financial support to government aided schools for primary education and make its recommendation so as to improve its overall efficiency for achieving the educational goals of the State.
This will further delay a decision on the issue that has cornered the government. The government is currently facing wide criticism with BBSM demanding withdrawal of grants to English primary schools and FORCE demanding that the grants to schools be brought into legislation.
In view of the formation of the advisory committee, the State Legislative Assembly’s Select Committee headed by Parsekar will take a final call on whether to withdraw the MoI policy cum bill pending before it.
Addressing the media late Tuesday evening, Parsekar said the Academic Council-State Council for Education, Research and Training (SCERT) is of the view that there was a need felt for wider consultation and revisiting the issue to facilitate an appropriate decision on the MoI issue.
“For the last one year, Goa has become a battle field on the issue of medium of instruction. Two groups have come in action agitating against the government. There is a demand from the stakeholders in support to retain the financial grants to 136 English medium primary schools, as well as a demand to withdraw the same,” he said.
“Under such circumstances, we decided that the issue be revisited by educationists and not politicians. Hence, we decided to constitute a committee for the purpose of advising on the issue and arriving at an appropriate decision in the matter,” Parsekar said in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza.
The committee shall be required to hold extensive consultations with civic society organizations including PTAs, school management committees, primary school teachers association, headmasters’ association, principals’ forum, aided school management associations, educationists, etc to ascertain their views on the subject.
The committee may also refer to various expert reports including that of the Ministry of Human Resource and Development, international organizations for the benefit of the latest development in pedagogical field.
“The government is of the view that primary education has to be in the mother tongue but we cannot be the right authority to decide. Hence, let the recommendation come from the experts,” Parsekar said.
The committee will visit the neighbouring States along the Konkan belt – Maharashtra, Karnataka – to study the socio-cultural dynamics of the matter.

Herald Goa News

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