Primary Education in Konkani
THE Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar’s emphasis on primary education in Konkani will augur well for the language and children. The move will encourage our children to be proud of our language and culture.
If you do a survey in Goa you will find that many children shy away from speaking in their own mother tongue Konkani. They prefer to speak in English. There are several examples of great personalities who did their schooling in regional languages and yet have powerful command over English language. And they have succeeded in life. So, we all the citizens of Goa must accept this decision on primary education in Konkani and respect our own language and culture more than English.
GANESH LAMANI, Dabolim
Poor Safety for Foreign Tourists
THIS is with reference to the news story ‘UK advisory on safety to citizens could affect state tourism’ (NT, June 27, 2012).The British government’s travel advisory to its nationals touring Goa, warning them against crime, sexual assault, rape, and thefts committed on beaches and hotels in Goa, particularly on the Candolim-Calangute stretch, has come as a blow to the Goa tourism department, and bodes ill for the future of tourism in Goa. These warnings are not the usual run-of-the-mill guidelines as made out to be by the Goa tourism director, but based on past testimonies of a few British nationals who had bitter experiences of robbery, and sexual assault in Goa, after their drinks were spiked in some local pubs. Such criminal acts are a blot on the people and culture of this once beautiful and peaceful paradise on earth. Unfortunately the previous Congress government in Goa, (in typical ostrich-like fashion), encouraged, and did nothing to prevent the spread of this hedonistic lifestyle prevailing on our beaches, believing that everything was well and hunky dory for Goa tourism. Today the same people are trying to find excuses and scapegoats for their past failures.
A F NAZARETH, Alto Porvorim
Reflections on Intolerance
EVER since Mr Pramod Mutalik, the leader of the hardliner Sri Ram Sene outfit made a statement in Ponda recently that his unit will be opened in Goa, there have been many suggestions to ban its entry in the state. People have justified their demand drawing attention to some of the highhandedness of the group in Karnataka, trying to impose their will on others, which is certainly not acceptable in a civilised society. There can be no denying that it amounts to intolerance. However it should also be noted that banning a group outright in any state is also an act of intolerance. We cannot stamp our opposition to any organisation, simply based on some stray incidents in another state. We have a law enforcing agency in Goa and it is best to leave the matter in their hands. Any act by any group that is bound to disturb the peace of the land can be tackled by the provisions of law. It would be right and fitting to state here that there are other regular instances wherein the peace and tranquillity of some areas is regularly disturbed. Taking recourse to some provisions in the Constitution that it is the right to practise, preach, profess and propagate one’s faith, some religions transmit the prayers right from early morning till night, causing terrible inconvenience to others, right from disturbing someone in sleep to causing unrest in other’s prayers, meditation or study. The havoc is experienced even at distant places from the religious structures. Has anyone raised objection to this form of intolerance?
MICHAEL VAZ, Merces
Commercialisation of Education led to MoI Imbroglio
THE remark by the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar that the quality of primary education in the state has deteriorated as the department had recruited incompetent teachers during the previous regime and the observation made by the former chairman of the Goa Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education that the department did precious little to upgrade their teaching skills throws a question mark over the prevalent education system. Likewise, the medium of instruction in the state remains embroiled in a political mishmash which has never had the interest of the students as its prime motive. How is it that education has today become a hotly debated political issue that never appears to reach a conclusive end? Every successive administration has had its own idea of how the system of education in the state should be run. No doubt it is the prerogative of the government to implement a plan of action with regard to the education in the state, but should it have reached a stage where the medium of instruction has virtually thrown the whole state into a dizzy? Even the exit of the Congress government has not brought about any drastic change in the stand adopted; maybe the suave handling of the situation by the Chief Minister has helped BJP break the MoI deadlock, albeit temporarily. Though a definite resolution on the matter is desired, it appears highly unlikely. The root cause of the problem is yet to be discerned, but the fact remains that commercialisation of education, more than anything else, has contributed to this sorry state of affairs. How can one tolerate the process of learning and instruction being treated as a commercial enterprise, bartered as a commodity? If the fat and hefty fees charged by some private educational establishments have raised eyebrows, the ‘levying’ of an equal amount by tutors for conducting private classes for all the students intent on pursuing career courses by seeking entry into prestigious institutions haven’t been less amazing!
PACHU MENON, MARGAO