Marathi schools vanishing in U-K dist

Kannada first

The district, which borders Goa, has witnessed a steady decline in the number of Marathi schools over the past few decades. Reason: The growing popularity of Kannada schools.

This despite the mother tongue for a majority of the residents being either Konkani or Marathi. Several Marathi schools have closed down due to shortage of students and increase in Kannada medium schools.

Marathi primary schools in Ulaga, Gotegali, Halaga, Sunkeri, Vangada, Hotegali, Asnoti, Nandanagadda, Sadashivgadh-2 and Alivevawada, Jakatkatta, San Mudageri and Gabitawada have been shut.

Instead, Kannada primary schools have been opened on the same premises in Alivewada, Gabitwada, Jakatkatta and Sadashivagad-2 while others are functioning as anganawadi centres. Two schools in Kodibhaga and Bayikuvaribayi in Karwar town and another in Sadashivagada are the only Marathi schools functioning here at present.

Most of the teachers in Marathi schools have retired and six to seven teachers have shifted to Kannada schools.

Block Education Officer Srikant Hegade said: “As the Kannada schools have become more popular, a proposal has been submitted to the Border Development Authority to provide facilities such as computers, libraries, equipment for labs and sports.”

The situation is contrary to what it was a few decades ago and this blunts the argument of organisations that seek merger of these areas with Maharashtra.

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