HERALD - 27th March 2011,
Page 5 Opposition for grants to English medium schools gains momentum
CANACONA, MARCH 26: The movement to oppose demands for government grants to English medium schools has begun picking in Canacona, as a few people, including Marathi protagonists, met at the residence of a Tiatrist in Canacona to discuss the issue on Friday evening. After discussing the issue, a resolution was taken condemning Education Minister Babush Monseratte for supporting the demand to provide government aid to English medium schools.
The meeting took place at the residence of Konkani Tiatr writer R B S Komarpant to prepare a roadmap for the taluka level meet on Monday and for April 6 meeting at Azad Maidan in Panjim. Komarpant sought to blame the Christian community for demanding government grants to English medium primary schools. "By demanding grants for English medium primary schools, the Christians are dividing the people," said Komarpant, who convened the meeting on Friday. Konkani writer Kamlakar Mhalshi informed that no particular community should be made responsible for the issue, "but we should explore and solve the issue as to why suddenly parents of children attending primary schools run by the archdiocese now want to shift to English medium." "We should know the reason and educate parents first, who apparently with a reason have decided to demand English medium education to their children from elementary level." "We should not forget that the archdiocese managed schools in the State had shifted to Konkani medium once the primary education in mother tongue was made mandatory and no one had bothered to question it then," he said. ' Amid discussion over demands for government grants to English medium schools in the State, few area-wise representatives were chosen and asked to bring more people to attend the Monday meet, which also will be attended by speakers from other parts of the State.
In the meeting, representatives were also asked to involve elected representatives, including both MLAs, panchayat members, Mahila Mandals, Devasthan committees and others so that more people attend the meet. Incidentally, the demand for English medium primary education is high even in Canacona taluka. Sources have told Herald that in Canacona there are over 300 students studying in an unaided English medium private primary school run by an education society, while there are only 700 students studying in seven aided Konkani medium primary schools. Ulhas Pai Bhatikar (State awardee and retired headmaster), Shantaji Naik Gaonkar (retired headmaster), Kamlakar Bhalshi (Konkani writer/Sarva Shiksha Abhiya Canacona i/c), Anant Agni (teacher), RBS Komarpant (Konkani writerlTiatrist), Shantaram Komarpant (retired government primary teacher), Ravindra Raikar (retired teacher), Chinmoy were some of the people present at the meeting.