Published: 21st June 2017
RSS warns that more primary schools will close in the next four years due to Manohar Parrikar's 'anti-mother tongue policy'
The BBSM has been demanding a withdrawal of grants for English medium schools and encouragement to only those schools which teach in Indian languages
RSS leader Subhash Velingkar led Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) today predicted closure of primary schools in next four years allegedly due to the anti-mother tongue policy of the Manohar Parrikar government. "In the next four years, 543 schools with fewer students will be closed. Parrikar government which is bragging of instilling quality education in the schools will be responsible for their closure," Velingkar told reporters.
The BBSM has been demanding a withdrawal of grants for English medium schools and encouragement to only those schools which teach in Indian languages. The RSS leader, who unsuccessfully fought Goa assembly elections by floating Goa Suraksha Manch party, alleged that "Parrikar was strangulating the primary schools with Konkani and Marathi as a medium of instruction." Velingkar alleged that Parrikar government is circumventing its own policy decision of 2012 and has refused permission for 26 new primary schools in Konkani and Marathi medium during the current academic year.
Velingkar said that the state government, during 2012 and 2014, had issued multiple circulars amending the Education Act on the distance criteria allowing schools teaching in mother tongue to be opened within 1 km of other schools. To rest his case, the BBSM leader quoted statistics sourced from state education department which claims that 42 primary schools imparting education in Konkani and Marathi have one to five students each while 92 schools have 6-10 students.
"286 schools have students' strength between 11-20 while 123 schools are with 21-40 students each," he
said, adding, that the schools with less than 40 students will eventually face closure. Velingkar said Parrikar has been boasting about the ratio of one teacher per 23 students which is the result of the closure of primary schools. "The chief minister brags that teacher to student ratio in Goa is at par with international norms. But he conveniently hides the fact that this ratio is due to a dwindling number of primary schools in the state," he said.