Wednesday 22 October 2014

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Educationists oppose grants to English schools

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Pandurang Nadkarni

Educationists in Goa have reacted sharply to the demand of giving government grants to English medium private primary schools.

“This is not to deny English education to anybody. Government gives salary grants to English medium schools from secondary level and college education is completely in English”, pointed out M S Kamat, former principal of MES College in Vasco.

According to him, every child should start learning in mother tongue so that learning does not become a pressure on the child. This is a concept adopted at international level in every country and all over India, he pointed out.

According to Pandurang Nadkarni, former chairman of Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, the first step of learning is hearing, then speaking, then reading and writing is considered the last step.

“The reverse process of taking the last step first of teaching the child the alphabets of the unspoken language (English) is against the scientific process of teaching”, he observes.

He also does not deny the importance of English and states that every student must study English as a language in order to face the whole world by using it as a communication language, but not at a primary stage.

“Students of all the developing countries learn in their own mother tongue at primary level like Germany, France, Portugal, and Italy. Even students of England and America learn in English because it is their mother tongue”, points out Nadkarni.

Manohar Parrikar, the opposition leader, has appealed to his fellow legislators not to make education a political issue by supporting the unscientific demand of giving grants to English medium private primary schools.

“It’s a serious issue that deals with our future generations and not to play politics at the cost of spoiling Goa’s future”, he said while speaking in the Assembly two days ago.

When education minister Babush Monseratte assured the House to take a decision after taking into confidence the parents as well as teachers, Fatorda MLA Damu Naik requested him to take a decision only after consulting educationists, after studying the issue on scientific basis.

A delegation of senior educationists today met chief minister Digambar Kamat, urging him not to go against the National Education Policy of the central government, promoted by the Congress.

The delegation included M S Kamat, Fr Mosen Athaide, Arvind Bhatikar, Pandurang Nadkarni, Goa Konkani Academy president N Shivdas and Konkani Bhasha Mandal president Prashant Naik.

Most of the MLAs in Salcete, Mormugao, Tiswadi and Bardez however have supported the demand of thousands of parents as fresh Assembly elections are approaching fast.

These four talukas have hundreds of primary schools owned by the Diocesan Society of Education. Though the Church had in 1992 adopted Konkani medium at primary level, parents have now demanded that the medium of instruction be changed to English.

While unaided English schools charge unaffordable exorbitant fees, parents of the Diocesan schools demand that government grants be continued to their schools while changing to English medium so that they could send their children to these schools without paying high amount of fees.

However, on the other hand, the educationists as well as linguists are up in arms to oppose this demand and retain the status quo.

According to Prashant Naik, the KBM president, Goa’s education record has proved beyond doubt that the students who studied in their mother tongue or regional language have excelled compared to those studying in English at primary level. It is obvious since it is the scientific method of learning, he said.






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Fernandes,

One doesn't have to learn English in the primary standard to attain mastery over it. Moreover, after 5 th standard onwards it is going to be entirely English only. With some good training and guidance one can learn decent English.

What we need is real good English teachers in schools!

I also agree that curriculum in high school should be modified to adjust the kids coming from vernacular medium.

Maharshtra people cannot speak/read.write/ English? So many Marathis work in Europe and USA even after studying in Marathi up to X std. And they are doing quite well. Remember English will only help you communicate, it is a no substitute for knowledge, skills, intelligence and ability to do hard work!

What about Chinese, Japanese , Koreans, Russians who are doing so great in the U.S. Some of these folks have even written their PhDs in their mother tongue but have STUDIED and picked up English very well.

I know many people are embracing English in Goa only because they dislike Marathi/Konkani and other Indian languages and the culture associated with them.

 
Jay , USA

Hi Jay-USA:

You need to "factor" in, the "HOPE" value that English offers to an unemployed Indian / Goan.

Marathi or Konkani may give someone better hope in Goa /Mahrastra.But it certainly does not extend this hope to most Countries, where English plays some part in its day to day business.

There is unemployment in the countries you mention.It is certainly not as high as in India.In multi-lingual India itself, English is a good "LINK" language.It binds various people, perhaps like HINDI.

Speaking , reading or writing English,is not a means to an end.But it opens up more avenues and delivers hope and "confidence".

Anyone learning, speaking or writing in English is still a Nationalist or Patriot.

Gandhi & Nehru and a whole caboodle of other Indians were all English speakers and writers.It did not make them any less patriotic or Nationalistic.

 
N.Fernandes , London

*So just by able to read, write and speak ENGLISH you can get a job? Wonder why there is so much unemployment in the U. S., England and other English speaking countries.

* Seems like some people think that knowing English has become a panacea to all our unemployment problems.

 
Jay , USA

Hi Pandurang Nandkarni:

I appreciate your frank opinion.

However we now live in a Democracy and Parents should be given a choice in what medium their children get educated.

It is the parents that will bear the burden of their childrens failure , not the State.

You chose Konkani as your choice, to educate your kids or perhaps you were comfortable with it or it was the only option available to you.

Marathi & Konkani are not international languages.They serve a purpose in Maharastra or Goa only.

The unemployment rates in India are very high.So for a lot of parents, fearful of the future , English is a beneficial language.They see this around them.They hear how other children have succeeded with English.

The BBSM is purely a dogmatic, divisive and caste & class riddled organisation.

 
N.Fernandes , London

I have read the comments on my statements about education through the mother tongue. It is unfortunate that even most educated persons canot understand the psychological and pedagogical implications of learning through foreign language.

It is universally accepted principle that learning should be in mother tongue only.Learning can not be in foreign language and the mother tongue lays a strong foundation for learning any foreign language. Learning through foreign language will kill the initiaive of the child to learn and increase the drop out rate in Goa.I am not against English Language on the contrary, the Goan students should have good command over English .

Both my children, daughter as well as son have studied through Konkani medium at Primary classes and both are very good in English. We do not speak in English in our family. My daughter is post graduate in Psychology pursueing her International Diploma in Couselling & Guidance under Commonwealth Learning Pregramme of NCERT. My son is B.E. In Electronics & Electricals and worked in Switzerland based MNC and now pursuing his MBA in a most reputed Management institute in India.

I am sorry if I have hurt your sentiments.But I have habit of giving frank opinion and telling what is right and what is wrong. That's all.

 
Pandurang R. Nadkarni , Mapusa-Goa

Children should be given a good grounding and foundation in English.This is because it has to be learnt and is not spoken automatically .Konkani & Marathi is widely spoken in Goa, at home and around the enviroment.As they are languages that are spoken daily and not "rarely", children pick these up much quicker than English.

English as many "normal " and "Common sensed" people confirm, is a language that will be most used in work and beneficial employment sutuations.

Many Indian Companies use english as a medium of trade and communication, Nationally & Internationally.

Should children fail to meet language criteria in obtaining jobs, it will not be the State of Goa that will be shouldering the burden.It will be the parents.

If Democracy is for the people, of the people and by the people, than the request of the parents is paramount.Many languages in India co-exist.Why shouldn`t English.

The BBSM is an ugly organisation made up of failed and back-ward looking people.

Naguesh Karmail purely makes noises to justify his Freedom Fighters Pension.

Shasihkala Kakodkar again is another failed human species.Having failed politically, she craves for attention from any source or any agenda or any controversial topic.

Uday Bhembre again is a failed MLA & Editor.He is desperately trying to put a shine on his lost esteem & respect.So now he has jumped on the MOI bandwagon to rattle his tail.

As for Digamber Kamat, he does not know left from right.No doubt he will only know where his views and beliefs stand,after a trip To the Goa desk In New Delhi.

Kamat is no inspirational Chief Minister.

It seems we now have a native of the Punjab, visiting Goa,telling us Goans, what is good for us....as if we do not know.

 
N.Fernandes , London

2days childrens are r 2morrows parents, govt. has to change the policy as per the wishes of the parents every time......... that means scientist or educationist does not have any value in this state......

 
Purushottam , Ponda

Is placebo effect scientific?

My suggestion to the delegation of senior educationists mentioned in this artice is that a simple true/false questionnaire should be used to gather data.

Format is as below.

Election ID Card No.: --------

1. I am an Indian. (true/false)

2. Every Indian child must listen/hear an Indian language at home. (true/false)

3. Every Indian child must not listen/hear a non-Indian language at home.(true/false)

4. Government must bear the primary education cost of Indian child. (true/false)

 
B Brother , Earth

Are the politicians thinking abt our children or jst abt themselves. So all this 15,000 crowd came together just to waste their time. If the parents wud like the Medium of Instruction that is Konkani which is there at present then they wudnt have made it. So its more then enough for the politicians n the educationists to know what the parents want for their kids. So let the parents decide for their children n not the politicians. coz they r our children n v no wat is best for them in their future. our kids r thought konkani in school but when they hv to communicate with others they dont even hv grammer for their english..... its not a shame for the politicians but for the parents. 2day v say that the world is getting modernised....... but i dont think so. if it is getting modernised then its only on the clothes n not on the way the politicians n the educationists think abt the future of our kids. if the politicians n the educationists have so much love for konkani, then y do they teach their kids in english private schools n abroad for futher sutdies let them do it in goa itself. i dont say not to teach konkani in school keep it as 1 compulsory subject but dont change the whole medium to konkani. get down from ur politician chair n be a normal citizen n see how difficult it is for us to teach our kids in konkani. it is a shame for us parents to send our kids for tutions when they r in the 1st standard because v cant teach our kids in konkani but if it is in english then yes v can help them to get along. I think its high time for the People of Goa to get up n fight for the rights of our children and give them a BRIGHT AND A BETTER FUTURE. so Wake up Goa.

 
James , Margao

The parents should have the right to decide as to what their kids should learn. The mind of the child is far more receptive than what we think and the child would learn any language taught to it may be English or even Sanskrit - in the childhood. My brother was talking in fluent Sanskrit and many other languages at the age of five years and all this teaching was done by father at home Many people in the village have seen this will vouch for it He became a renowned Doctor and contributed many research papers in medical field. A child learns with ease what is taught to it-in the childhood years--provided they get competent teachers.

One should not forget that in the world becoming a global village- the learning of English is strongly connected to making a livelihood or getting employment on ships/Gulf Countries and abroad. The Goan youth do well in Interviews is because of their ability to communicate in English-- which is true even for technical posts.One should not forget that Goa is getting remittance of foreign exchange to the tune of more than 5 thousand crores annually which is almost equal to our whole budget--because Goans are able to secure jobs abroad/ships. One should always keep this in mind before imposing any decision on the masses as it the question of their bread and butter.Better not to imagine as to what would happen if the Government was to give them well earning jobs or take care of all those people or give them unemployment allowance out of tax payer's money.

If the importance of English has to be decimated---start from the top...stop its use in judiciary, Assembly and Parliament, Govt. Offices, Govt web sites, higher education etc..Let people choose the language which they want and the Government duty is to help them in whatever way possible.......

 
vishwas prabhudesai , loliem

All this is about splitting hairs. From I-IV Konkani then shifting to English medium without looking back, and lots of problems for the poor children in catching up the English they will have to learn.

The so-called educationists, have their own agendas and not love for any Konkani. Some are supporting their own English private schools, which charge exorbitant fees.

 
Ludovico , Old-Goa

According to Pandurang Nadkarni, former chairman of Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, “The first step of learning is hearing, then speaking, then reading and writing is considered the last step”.

I do agree .But, what about subjects like Mathematics, Science and Social Sciences which will decide our children's career in Future? Everywhere you go:Jobs,Interviews Higher Education,etc. everything is in English..

It is better for a child to learn a new language(which would benefit their future) right from the beginning than making a mess of their education/career..Life ahead is very demanding and challenging and we need to prepare our child for it right from the beginning.I am not against Konkani, however, there is nothing wrong in learning a new language which is accepted globally.

Instead of having Konkani as an optional language, it could be made compulsory, but it does not make sense to change the entire learning medium to Konkani....Wake Up Goa...

 
Veena , Margao

As pointed out by M S Kamat, former principal of MES College in Vasco,"Every child should start learning in mother tongue so that learning does not become a pressure on the child."

But, what about the pressure it will create when the child will have to remove their old coat of "Study in Konkani medium" and wear the new coat of "Study in English medium"? i.e. when the transition from Konkani medium to English medium takes place?.Are these so called politicians and educationists thinking about this?

 
Veena , Margao

I do agree that the first step of learning is hearing, then speaking, then reading and writing is considered the last step.This rule applies to languages.

But, what about subjects like Mathematics, Science and Social Sciences which will decide our children's career in Future? How will these children cope up when the transition takes place from Konkani back to English medium?Everywhere you go, The Higher Education Is in English..

It is better for a child to learn a new language(which would benefit their future) right from the beginning than making a mess of their education/career..

Instead of having Konkani as an optional language, it could be made compulsory, but it does not make sense to change the entire learning medium to Konkani....Wake Up Goa...

 
Veena , Margao

Only God knows and those minorities who have suffered for nearly 20 years, because of the wrong policies of the PDF government, whether Goa's education record has proved anything, because Konkani was taught in the primary section. All I have seen are Konkani textbooks written by people while doing kitchen work ar home.

Instead of making this an issue, a political issue or even a language issue, which it is not, let the people who want to opt to teach their children in English, the language of the future, without any nationality, do so. It will not hurt Marathi or even Konkani, so why are people who will not be affected raise the issue of Konkani?The Konkani language has to be developed, researched, instead of having Bhasha Mandals with two language scripts in vogue. Get them married, the Romi and Devanagri first, in order to proceed.

 
Ludovico , Old-Goa

The parents are the best judges to decide as to what medium is good for their kids.The Governemnt should extend whatever possible help ..........

If the importance of English in our day to day life has to be decimated-- then the starting has to be done from the top. Let the use of English be totally banned from the Courts, Government Offices, Higher education etc--and automatically the parents would stop making efforts to teach their kids in English.

One should always remember that Rs. 50000 crores every year or an amount almost equal to the whole Budget of Goa--is being earned and remitted by the poor citizens of this land who work on ships and in Foreign countries--leaving their families back home--and mind almost one or more persons--from every other house in Goa -are working outside to remit money back to sustain their families. And for all those persons---the knowledge of English is essential- to get job and to make a living---

This factor should weigh heavily while imposing any decision on the people.......

 
vishwas prabhudesai , loliem

Goa needs a clear cut education policy. This policy should be drawn by experts, not the parents of the students or the dirty politicians!

It should not be aimed at any language per se but should be focussed on developing skills, values, ethics and respect for environment from the young age.

Currently the English medium KG students are taught rhymes like 'London bridge is falling down" or 'baba blackship' which I don't know how they are able to relate to anything in their life or serve special purpose.

Similarly, a few years ago I visited a Church run Konkani medium school in N. Goa and was shocked to see a nun singing the song 'tambde kapod neslya rupya dakoitat' with the first standard kids.

The way things are going on, I am reminded by what the famous Marathi writer P. L. Deshpande once said, to paraphrase him, 'Konkani and Marathi fight in Goa will eventually lead to the victory of English" and we see that the day has arrived now!

 
SPN , USA

These politicians do not know the importance of English. They know only the importance of making money and to grant goverment jobs who provide under the tables. Why r we dying in Outside countries, specially coz of these stupid idiot politicains and now they talk about the mother tongue.

Making mother tongue the language to go ahead with will give job to all the unemployed, who ever speaks this is a foolish and the people who reads their messages big fools.

Nadkarni do not talk about foreign countries, they know to take care of their citizens but our govt knows to take care if we take care of them. Talk on the population level, they do not have to move to other countries seeking for jobs but we are forced to do so.

Can anyone give jobs for the students passed through konkani medium schools. The politicians themselves educate their children in US & UK WHY?

Mojority of Goans will hv jobs like waiters, cooks cleaners, this is bcoz u people support for rise of hotels nd not for rise of other trade industries.

 
Joaquim , Dubai

Mr Pandurang Nadkarni must know if he is an educationist , that Parents have been through the Goa education system, and based on their experience of life,employment prospects etc, choose what is in the best interest of their children.

A lot of what I was taught in school , has never been fully applied in my working life.

Mr Pandurang Nadkarni must also consider that ,the world is now a Global village.Marathi & Konkani have no use in any Country.

Many Professions have changed considerably with Technology.Many Job descriptions have changed over a period of time

.If education is to equip our children to be competetive in the New World...then they should be taught a language that is commonly applied in most Countries.

Even Marathi speaking parents now wished their children were given a good grounding in English.Konkani speaking parents always knew that English would be a PAssport for their Childrens Future.

Mr Pandurang Nadkarni, will not be looking after our children after schooling.It is we Parents that will be doing this and bearing any burden that will follow,

It is but sad that a few so called elevated Educationists are dogmatic.

India with Marathi or Konkani has no future.

India with good English does.It opens many doors.

 
N.Fernandes , London

In the homes of the Goans, English is used and treated as mother tongue, accept it or not, ever since liberation of Goa. I am a Konkani lover but all these panelists, educationists or protagonists of the Konkani language have done pretty little, to improve the development of the Konkani, than they are supposed to do.

Can anyone answer, as to why people who put their children through English schools at primary level flood the gates of aided schools for admissions at class 5th for admissions? Is it not done to circumvent the existing policy of no grants to other than regional language medium schools. I believe even Kannada or Gujarati may have been receiving grants, I am not sure. All this wrangling and the sufferer is the child who cannot understand any of this. Grants to aided schools teaching in English medium should not be denied.

 
Ludovico , Old-Goa

All the 15,000 crowd came there to waste their time? Let the parents decide the future of the kids and not the politicians or educationist, let the people have what they want and not the critics. Konkani can be made the compulsory subject in the primary 3rd standard.

 
Ramponkar , Goa

Are these so called Educationists thinking of their own selfish interest or the future of the children? Are their priorities the prospects of the children or their pride of status? Let me spell out to them, let me ask them to publish how many children they have and where they did their schooling! HYPOCRITES!

 
Goan Imp , Margão

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