DSE run schools in Goa were Government aided English medium schools till Goa obtained statehood. Sashikala Kakodkar stopped grants to English medium schools , but aid to Marathi medium schools continued ,thus forcing DSE schools to switch over to Konkani medium. In fact this was an grudge against Goans for shattering their family dream of merging Goa with Maharashtra. Politicians should be banned from deciding about education. We have seen in some India states the way politicians keep their hold over people by providing gifts and finance to some extent, but not education.
The day education flourishes the uneducated politicians will be kicked out. The failure of Chinese labour in the international market on the Communication front, forced China to make English compulsory at primary level, whereas our politicians demand regional languages at primary level to save Goan culture. This is a political motive to expand Marathi base in Goa.
James Moraes, Cuncolim
The MoI issue has been unnecessarily dragged on by some selfish politicians in order to divert attention from the real issues facing Goa. Though parents have the right to choose the medium of instructions for their children at primary level, let’s not forget they too have learnt from the schools with Konkani as medium of instruction at primary level and many of them have become successful doctors, engineers etc. Though our CM Manohar Parrikar in his administrative capacity has continued grants to the schools which switched to English medium last year, we parents will have to wait for the education experts to have their final say on this issue. If the experts decide that only regional languages should be the medium of instruction at the primary level so be it, provided all schools in Goa including private schools follow the same rule. Only then will justice prevail. If education expert decide that Konkani must be the MoI let them give parents the option to choose Konkani language either in Roman or Devnagri script. In the meantime leaders from the BBSM and/or FORCE should not create an atmosphere like that which happened during the Konkani agitation when several people lost their lives for the Konkani cause.
Joe Vaz, Fatorda
The failed attempt to appoint educationist and BBSM leader Pandurang Nadkarni as the State Information Commissioner was one of the many flawed and autocratic moves by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in his first 100 days in office.
The Government had tried to project a fair and transparent selection process but it was very clear that the Chief Minister had cleverly lined up his man for the top post with a monthly salary of over Rs. 1,20,000. The law requires that the Information Commissioner have wide knowledge and experience of law and no connection with any political party. Pandurang Nadkarni does not have these fundamental requisites. The law also required that the person should be of ‘eminence’. One would have presumed that a sound academic record would be the foundation to any claim to eminence. But even despite Pandurang Nadkarni’s struggle to pass SSC, the Chief Minister opined that his man had the eminence required. The political agenda of the ruling party should not be subversive of the rule of law.
In his apparent anxiety to accommodate members of the BJP and Sangh Parivar, the Chief Minister could have placed Pandurang Nadkarni in some other position. Constitutional positions like the Information Commissioner and the proposed Lokayukta should under all circumstances be kept beyond any reach of political control, interference and manipulation.
Aires Rodrigues, Ribander
During the last few weeks, while one global rating agency after another has down-graded our economy, our political leaders, blissfully oblivious of the state of the nation, were busy trying to find a suitable candidate presidential candidate of their choice, who will do nothing for the economy of the country except occupy a palatial bungalow with a retinue of staff and travel the world, also with a retinue of staff and family to boot. It is about time, we take another look at this sinecure office.
What we need is a strong President who will stand up to the government whenever required and not just a rubber-stamp. And s/he must be a people’s president, like Abdul Kalam. Towards this end it imperative that the president is elected by the people. This election need not be a drain on the exchequer. The election may be held along with the Lok Sabha election and the term co-terminus with the Lok Sabha. The elected president would combine the best features of the American and British democracies—neither too powerful like president Obama, nor too ornamental like Queen Elizabeth.