PANJIM: Education minister, Atanasio 'Babush' Monserrate, has stepped forward to clear the air over apprehensions that the Medium of Instruction (MoI) circular will not be implemented during the present academic year.
Following reports that there was too much of a confusion and legal hassles over the circular's implementation, the education minister reiterated that the circular will be brought into force this year itself and opened his doors to those who had any doubt over the circular's legality.  "The circular says schools will be allowed to open English medium divisions this year if parents want and we are going ahead with that. Reports have appeared in various sections of the media that the circular has been referred to the cabinet for correction. But the question of doing so does not arise as there is nothing wrong with the circular," Monserrate told TOI on Saturday.
Reacting to claims by opposition leader Manohar Parrikar that the circular was not vetted by the law department or the finance department as required by law, Monserrate said, "The decision could not have been taken by the cabinet if the legal part had not already gone through the law department before its approval by the cabinet."
"The four-member committee itself has been appointed to advise on the smooth implementation of the MOI decision. It is headed by the education secretary and has director of education and director of higher education as its members. I will go through the committee's recommendations on Monday and whatever issues arise will be looked into," Monserrate said.
Monserrate also said anyone who doubts the legality of the circular, despite attempts by the state for its smooth implementation, was free to approach the courts for justice.  "There is no question of any illegality. Anyone who wants can even go to the court, if they desire. I assure you that all concerned will be taken into confidence in implementation of the circular. Even Parrikar can come and discuss his doubts with us. We do not have any problems taking all sides into account," said the education minister.
The education minister said even in case of complaints he had received from parents being pressurized by schools into signing in favour of English medium, the education department was open to complaints.  "The circular gives the parents the right to decide MOI. Let us go by the spirit of this decision. We do not want any institution to force any decision on the parents. We will come down heavily on any institution found to be erring. I had received such complaints from parents and asked the education department to act firmly," Monserrate said.
Reacting to Parrikar's criticism that notings about financial implications of the MOI decision were not mentioned on the papers taking the cabinet decision on MOI as is usually done, Monserrate said there is no question of financial implications being drawn as there are no funds required for implementation of the decision this year.
About the director of education's statement to the media that the MOI circular has been referred to the cabinet, Monserrate said, "The director has been warned before by the chief minister not to speak out of turn."
Education department's spokesperson, Anil Powar, however, said the director had only spoken about bringing complaints from various sections about the MOI decision to the state government's notice and not about referring the circular to the cabinet.  "We have only informed the government about the different complaints from Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch and Konkani Bhasha Mandal etc on the MOI decision," he said.


Gobor said...

The biggest question is, can the present decision on MOI be revisited by subsequent goverments  like how the Govts. keeps on changing the retirement age?

Perdro Lopes said...

Let's have a referendum, as to what language (MoI) we want. infact like switzerland we should have a referendum for everything, Goa is not India, Goa is Europe.

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