Free education is imparted to children in vernacular languages in primary schools and in English medium from the fifth standard in secondary schools since the regime of the first Chief Minister of Goa, late Bhausaheb Bandodkar. When the Central Government gave an option to the State to select medium of language for primary education, the Congress Government in Goa opted for English.Click here to see the news
Presently, the Chief Minister of Goa, Mr. Digambar Kamat and few Congress Ministers are misguiding people by appealing to them that the poor should learn English and parents should decide the medium of education for their children, and primary education should be in regional languages like Konkani or Marathi and the national language. Self-identity, folk-art, culture and Dharma can be preserved when primary education is imparted in the regional language. All citizens of Goa and educationists are of the opinion that medium for primary education should not be English. Even then, the Congress Government under the leadership of Mr. Digambar Kamat decided to revise the education policy with regard to primary education under pressure from a few Christian Ministers from 'Sasashti taluka' and to extend grants to English medium schools.
The State Education Minister Mr. Montserrat had given an assurance in the Legislative Assembly that education policy of the State would not be changed; even then, the Congress Legislature Party decided to extend grants to English medium primary schools. The Forum for Protection of Indian Languages, Bharatiya Bhasha Suraskha Manch (BBSM) set up to protect regional languages has staged statewide protests owing to this decision of the State Government to throttle regional languages. Protests were started by holding meetings, personal contacting etc. to create awareness among people and a bandh was observed on 6th June 2011 in support of their demand that the State Government withdraw its decision. Appeals made by the Forum received a positive response from social, cultural, religious, education institutions, business community, transporters, and owners of petrol pumps, private companies etc. i.e. from all strata of society as all joined the bandh voluntarily, out of their love for their mother-tongue and created history.
Supporters of regional languages are praying collectively at Sree Mahalasa devi at Mardol
Burning the controversial circular
It was thought that such a bandh would open eyes of the State Government; but the State Government did not change its decision even then; moreover, it justified its decision to have English as medium of education at primary level. The Education Minister Montserrat issued a circular last week declaring grants to English medium primary schools. The Forum has decided to intensify its agitation as the State Government is firm on its decision. The Forum and ardent followers of Bharatiya languages expressed their displeasure by openly burning copies of the related circular issued by the State Government and indicated intensifying its agitation.