The Goa Legislative Assembly saw its members divided over the issue of medium of instruction at the primary level when the demands for Education were being discussed on Thursday. While most of the Congress legislators plugged for recognizing English as the medium of instruction, the Opposition MLAs stuck to mother tongue being the medium of instruction.
Deputy Leader of Opposition Francis D’Souza chose to take a middle line where without making any commitment he advised the government to consult experts on the issue instead of taking a decision hurriedly.
He stressed the need to improve the quality of education and mentioned that minority managed schools have done yeomen service in rendering quality education. Disagreeing to an extent with the Leader of Opposition, Francis D’Souza said that parents should be given the choice to choose the medium of instruction.
Congress legislators Agnelo Fernandes and Deputy Speaker Mauvin Godinho came out strongly in favour of English as a medium of instruction with the former stating that the poor and Hindus from his constituency not being able to educate their children in English and that 80 per cent of the Catholics send their children to English medium schools.
Mauvin Godinho while arguing that no language should be forced upon children demanded that the government provide grants to English medium primary schools so that the children from poor background could study there.
On the other hand former minister Dayanand Narvekar found something fishy in the issue erupting when the State was gearing for the next general elections and urged the government to resolve it on priority.
While pointing out to the increasing number of suicides by students, he asserted that MLAs would not be able to resolve this issue which had larger implications.