MARGAO: Accusing Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) members Arvind Bhatikar and Uday Bhembre of imposing their views regarding medium of instruction (MoI) on thousands of parents, Forum of Rights for Children Education (FORCE) secretary Savio Lopes said that India being a multi-lingual country and each state having its own language, English language unites the country and therefore it is essential to learn in English and parents should have every right to chose the language they want their children to study in.
Lopes said that they have high hopes that the government would fulfill the promise of translating the government decision taken on July 1, 2014 and making an act without any dilution in next assembly session which will start in January 2016.
It may be recalled that FORCE had made an open challenge to the two leaders for a debate on MoI at a public meeting. FORCE had even made arrangement of chairs at the Lohia Maidan on Thursday. However, a day prior to the meeting, BBSM leader and IAS officer Bhatikar had refused to debate with Lopes claiming that he had no knowledge in the field of education.
“We had started the movement five years ago. For the last four years, we did not criticise them and only pursued our genuine and rightful demand. But it was shocking that these so-called “highly educated” people communalised the whole MoI issue. Who are these two to take decision on part of thousands of parents?” Lopes questioned before thousands of people gathered at the Lohia Maidan.
Lopes said that FORCE is not against Konkani and teaching in local language at primary level adding, “Konkani is part of our identity so let us speak in Konkani, but allow our children to learn in English.”
FORCE president Premanand Naik alleged that BBSM is dividing people on basis of language and its leaders do not want the poor people to learn English.
A parent Pallavi Naik explained how essential English language is for today’s generation. “English is essential at workplace. One requires the knowledge of English in this competitive world,” she maintained adding religion should not be mixed with education.
While thanking all the parents, Cynthia D Costa e Fernandes appealed to parents to be united to carry on the movement forward till genuine demand is fulfilled.