Education in Konkani being phased out?
PATRICK J. LOBO
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) which was established in September 1961 at New Delhi, is an apex resource organisation set up by the Government of India, to assist and advise the Central and State Governments on academic matters related to the school education. NCERT is focused on priority areas like implementation of national curriculum framework, Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE), vocational education, education of groups with special needs, early childhood education.etc...etc
The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) is the miniature of NCERT at the State level , with the highest responsibilities in providing quality education to the concerned State. Since liberation Goa has achieved better education, still at various point several things remain to accomplish higher quality education.
The Directorate of Education, Goa and the Goa Board are the main departments which cater the needs of the educational system in Goa. The lack of proper objectives, planning, organising, implementing various policies and the lack of coordination between the Directorate of Education, Goa Board, State Council of Education and Training and Teachers training Institute is the main setback for quality education in Goa.
SCERT is the main orgainstation which focuses for better and quality of education; it is a setup of academic matters. It is an autonomous body entrusted with planning, implementation and evaluation of all academic programmes from pre-school to higher secondary levels. It is concerned with the academic aspects of school education including formulation of curriculum, preparation of textbooks, teachers’ hand books and teacher training. It advises the State Government on policy matters relating to school education.
The Goa SCERT, which is supposed to be an academic body, is inactive; the functions of SCERT till today are performed by the Directorate of Education. The Directorate of Education is an administrative and not an academic body. Since the Education policies are framed by the Education Department , politicians and others ,they are not within the mark and the end result is sheer confusion in the education segment.
The State of Goa does not have a well defined Education Policy. The child starts learning in the mother’s womb. So, policies need to be framed from the pre-primary level onwards. The policy framed should be for all private schools, aided schools, ABE run schools, Government Schools etc.
Whether you study in private schools, Government schools or Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE) run schools, the policy for education, the syllabus the curriculum, the Medium of Instruction should be one. That is the reason why SCERT formulates the Education policies and this is done in all other States, except Goa.
I was surprised when the Chief Minister said that he has given an administrative solution to solve the ongoing MOI issue.The instructions are very much clear. Only schools which impart education in regional languages will get grants. We cannot favour a section of the society in the name of Administration. To my knowledge the ABE run schools were not permitted by the education department to crossover from the Konkani medium to English medium. It was illegally done and the same wa pointed out by the Courts.
The solution provided has done justice to a section of parents, students, ABE run schools. Injustice is done to the language. In the name of administration, 127 Konkani school are no more imparting Konkani education. To establish ,127 Konkani medium schools in near future, is a dream which may never come true. That is the reason I stress on one education policy for all schools whether private or otherwise.
The Goa Government in the year 1991 had announced its decision to give grants to primary schools where the medium of instruction was either in Konkani or Marathi. The English medium schools were not given grants.
Konkani education started since then and about 130 schools belonging to the minority community opted for primary education in Konkani medium and most Catholic Church-run schools in Goa had then shifted to Konkani medium to obtain the government aid. It was not a secret that the schools that were teaching in Konkani were schools under Archdiocesan Board of Education and it was a good decision of running the schools in Konkani medium.
Our Konkani language has now become an orphan. With no one to turn to. Everyone is running: running from responsibility; running after the goodies. The true colours of the then leaders of Konkani are now clearly and vividly exposed as fence sitters. They swing and bend and turn and twist as the wind blows; they are the dangerous shifting sands in the changing current. Konkani Education is left to drown.