Parents demanding that English be recognized as a medium of instruction, under the banner of Forum for Rights of Children to Education (FORCE) held a candle lit march through the streets of Margao on Monday evening which had an impressive turn out.
Converging at Lohia Maidan where the candles were lit, the parents marched past the Syndicate Bank, turned near Monginis shop at Malbhat and then walked towards Chief Minister Digambar Kamat’s residence. However, seeing the security cordon on the main road blocking access to the chief minister’s residence, the parents continued walking to the market past Model English High School old premises and re-assembled at Lohia Maidan.
FORCE Secretary Savio Lopes speaking to the parents clarified that though they had given the government a 7th May deadline, they had to organize such protests to keep the movement going and warned that the government will have to pay a heavy price if their demand is not met by 7th May.
He outright rejected being appointed on any committee and said: “Our demand is very clear and there is no negotiation on that. Give us the choice of opting for English as a medium of instruction or face the wrath of the parents whose patience is wearing thin.”
Asserting that the ministers can grant their demand by a mere cabinet decision, he said there was no question of seeking support from any elected representative. “Let them do what they have to do to meet our demands instead of merely giving us assurances,” he said.
Sandra D’Sa of the Loyola High School Parent Teacher Association pointed out that 1973 Delhi Education rules which have been duplicated by Goa government as Goa Education Rules, 1986 provides parents the choice of opting to educate their children in any other language that is not their mother tongue.
Abdul Matin Karol accused the elected representatives of hoodwinking the people by sending their children to English medium schools and depriving the masses of the same choice.