Aid to Church-run Goa schools will become a law;

 

The bill in this regard is before the select committee.

Panaji:
Goa chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar requested the state assembly to pass a bill that will make it a law to give grants to ‘only’ Church-run English medium primary schools.

“Let the bill come to the Assembly from the select committee in the next session. Let us pass it without much discussion”, Parsekar requested members of the House Wednesday.

The move of the Bharatiya Janata Party government follows footsteps of the previous Congress government.

As the Assembly was discussing demands on education on Wednesday, everybody was waiting to see what announcement Parsekar – also the education minister – makes on the controversial issue of Medium of Instruction (Moi).

“We still hold the universal view of imparting primary education in the mother tongue. But I will not change what exists today. The grants which we give to English medium primary schools will not stop”, he made it amply clear.

He also appealed the members not to bring politics in education and create new confusion in the state, on the MoI issue.

The bill in this regard is before the select committee.

Forum for the Right of Children’s Education (FORCE) had paralysed the whole state on 31 July, demanding salary grants to all the English medium schools, besides staging a hunger strike at Azad Maidan in Panaji.

In retaliation, the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch had marched in the capital city on 7 August, while threatening to make it an issue of majority versus minority communities of Goa.Subhash Velingkar, Goa’s RSS chief and leader of BBSM, had also said they would not mind if the BJP government falls on this issue and loses 2017 Assembly election.

MoI was one of the issues on which the BJP had rode to power by opposing the policy of erstwhile Congress government in 2011, to give grants to Church-run English medium primary schools.

While BJP swept the polls by reducing the Congress to mere nine in the 40-member House, it formed the government with five Christian MLAs in the BJP and four other Christian MLAs from Salcete supporting the government.

BJP’s then chief minister Manohar Parrikar had assured to reverse the Congress policy on MoI, making it a prime issue during election campaign.

He ‘heard’ the educationists, majority of whom opposed giving grants to English medium primary schools.However, However, continued giving government grants to the Church-run English medium schools.

Meanwhile, he brought a bill in the Assembly to take a policy decision on MoI and the House referred it to the select committee.

FORCE came on roads this month, demanding to pass the bill and make it a law.

In order to pacify the agitation of FORCE, 11 legislators of the coalition government had given to its leaders in writing that the bill would be brought in the next Assembly session.

Parsekar has now announced that the bill would state that government grants for salary of teachers to the existing (Church-run) English medium primary schools would continue.

Source: Goa News

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