Local Goa News

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

More govt Konkani, Marathi schools see downslide

Panaji: Government schools have been steadily losing favour with parents in Goa year after year, and the major casualty have been Konkani/Marathi primary schools, which have had to shut down for want of students.

The number of low enrolment government primary schools, mainly Konkani/Marathi, have gone up more than three folds over the last seven years from 172 in 2008 to 393 in 2015-16.
But, experts believe that the reasons are complex for the decline in numbers in regional language schools and the corresponding increase in students in English-medium schools.
"Until grants were extended to the 127 English-medium state aided primary schools, English medium schools were only unaided ones in Goa. Most of these unaided schools are affiliated to central boards like ICSE and CBSE, the preference against state boards is generally increasing among parents. Also there is a general wariness existing against government schools, most of which are regional language ones," said one academician.
Some more years will have to pass after grants were continued in 2012 to the 127 state-aided English medium schools to compare their figures to Konkani/Marathi primary schools to arrive at a definite conclusion on preference for medium-of-instruction, where the profile of the schools are otherwise same.
For now, the enrolment of students in all regional language schools is declining, as per the statistical publication of the directorate of education.
The number of students in the Kannada-medium government primary schools has slid from 821 in 2010-11 to 568 in 2014-15.
Many students of these schools are children of the migrant labour population coming to Goa in search of work. But, it is not clear to which medium these students have shifted. From the figures, it seems to be possibly English or Konkani.
Students taking to Marathi has dropped to 15,350 in 2014-15 from 17,769 in 2010-11.
Even in case of Urdu, which is a medium taken up by students mostly of a minority section for religious purposes, the enrolment of students has dropped from 975 in 2010-11 to 815 five years later.
Similarly, there has been a decline in students enrolling in Hindi medium primary schools to 129 in 2014-15 from 151 in 2010-11.
Vyankatesh Prabhudessai, students from whose schools have the highest qualification rate in national entrance tests like IITJEE from Goa, said that there is nothing definite to indicate that students from a particular medium of instruction at the primary level do better in such competitive exams.
"In fact, some like scientist Raghunath Mashelkar have studied in Marathi medium upto Class X. If at all there is a difference, students do appear to do slightly better when they study in their mother tongue at least at the primary level."
Konkani medium schools seem to have gained students with 2,621 students enrolled in 2014-15 as against 2,080 students in 2012-13, the year following the drastic shift of 127 schools from Konkani to English medium.
Since the shift of schools to English medium four years ago, the number of students in the medium have gone down slightly to 27,026 in 2014-15 from 27,800 in 2012-13.

TOI Goa News

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