No takers for Konkani

Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat said on Monday that students opting for a primary education in Konkani would be given an annual incentive of Rs 500.

The state will also constitute a task force to improve levels of education in Marathi and Konkani, Kamat said. The Independence Day announcement could be a case of too little too late for regional languages education in Goa.

Hundreds of government-aided Konkani and Marathi primary schools, here, have chosen to switch over to English medium after the government lifted a ban on state grants to such schools.

The medium of instruction issue has dominated debate here over the last few months. The government’s decision to allow funding to English primaries has also been challenged in the High Court.

The government told the HC recently that the majority of parents in aided primary schools that taught in the mother tongue have chosen English for their wards.  

The church which has a large stake in education in Goa ran 132 primary schools in Konkani. Almost all of these will switch to English this year.

Though Marathi schools may not have been hit as badly as Konkani – at least 40 per cent of the over 800 government Marathi schools are expected to carry on – the future of education in the regional languages does appear bleak.

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