No grants for Goa’s English schools

Church schools to have English

Cathedral of St Catherine, Goa


PANJIM: The Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE) has decided to continue with English as the medium of instruction at the pre-primary level even as the government has decided to give grants to only Konkani or Marathi medium schools.
The ABE has many schools with pre-primary section.
That the government’s decision has not gone down well with the ABE, can be surmised from the strongly worded communiqué that it has sent to the Department of Education (DoE) Wednesday, that states that pre-primary is the base for primary education and since most of the constituents under the ABE impart education in English at the primary level, it “will continue to impart education in English at the pre-primary level as well.”
The Goa government’s circular states that grants will be given to pre-primary schools where the medium of instruction is in Konkani or Marathi is likely to hit the Church-run schools in Goa considerably.
The ABE has asked the Education Department to give it a month’s time to reply to the circular issued in this regard and has urged that the respective ADEIs not to press for information about its pre-primary schools at this juncture.
Fr Joe Rodrigues, Secretary of ABE when contacted by Herald refused to comment but confirmed that ABE has written to the Education Department on the two issues ~ grants to pre-primary if education is imparted in Konkani or Marathi and on appointment of counsellors in schools.
While the ABE has appreciated the intentions of appointment of counsellors in schools and considers it as the need of the hour, it has impressed on the Education Department to allow it to appoint its own counsellors, rather than they being thrust upon their institutions by the government.
According to ABE, it has already appointed counsellors who are well qualified for its Church- run schools wherever requested.
It further points out that Article 30 (1) of the Constitution gives minority-run institutions the right to appoint its own teachers and likewise should be the case with counsellors. It also impresses on the Education Department that while exercising this right it should not be deprived of grants towards payment of salaries for the counsellors appointed.
On the issue of the midday meals and extension of school timings, the ABE has not yet reacted but we are told that management of Church-run schools have been given the choice to take appropriate decisions after consulting PTAs and teachers.
The ABE governing council met recently and deliberated on a host of education-related issues and accordingly decided to convey its sentiments to the Education Department. The ABE is hoping that the government will consider giving grants to registered pre-primary schools imparting education in English too.

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