Medium of Instruction at a glance
Dr. Pratap Naik, S.J.
Directorate of Education, Panaji has published two books, namely, List of Recognised Educational Institutions in Goa 2009-2010 and Educational Statistics at a Glance 2009-2010. In these two important and useful books one could get a lot of information regarding the medium of instruction, number of students and data related to the primary schools (Std I to IV) and high schools. In Goa there are 315 Non-Government (private) primary schools. Out of these 130 are English medium primary schools. Most of them are run by the Hindu community! In these English medium schools 50,272 students are studying. In 46 Non-Government Marathi medium schools 15,512 students are found. Most of these Marathi medium schools are owned by Hindus. Out of the 139 Non-Government Konknni medium schools 127 belong to Christian management, 6 to Hindu management, 1 to the Muslim Community and 5 belong to mixed management (owned by people of different religions). In these Konknni medium schools 61,256 students have enrolled. There are 3 Urdu medium private schools with students' strength 644.
Out of the 937 Government primary schools in Goa, 887 schools offer Marathi as the medium of instruction! And 61,270 students are studying in these schools. In contrast to this there are only 67 government schools offer Konknni as the medium of instruction! 3,912 students only have enrolled in these schools. In 15 Kannada medium government schools 3,498 students are found. In 24 Urdu medium government schools 2,840 students are studying. There are 4 Hindi medium government schools with 690 students. There is only one Telugu medium Government school in Goa with 52 students. There are no State Government English medium primary schools in Goa. However there are 5 Central Government English medium primary schools with 3,060 students!
From the above statistics one could sum up as follows. There are 135 English medium primary schools in Goa with 80,332 students. In 933 Marathi medium primary schools 76,782 students have enrolled. There are 206 Konknni medium schools with 65,168 students.
Konknni is claimed to be the mother tongue of Goans. If this is true, the question arises why there are 933 Marathi medium primary schools compared to 206 Konknni medium schools. In Goa for the academic year 1994-1995 there were 238 Konknni, 1030 Marathi and 46 English medium primary schools. The highest numbers of Konknni medium primary schools 244 were in the academic year 1995-1996. Since then the number of Marathi and Konknni medium schools have considerably reduced and there is a sharp rise in English medium schools. The growth of reduction is far great for Konknni medium schools. Konknni medium schools so far have survived because of the support of the Church. Christian community was not in favour of Konknni as the medium of instruction. It was forced upon them by the school managements to avail grants to pay the government pay scale to their teachers. In a good number of these so called Konknni medium primary schools, English continues to be the medium of instruction! All the English medium primary schools in Goa are unaided.
In Goa Konknni is the official language of the State. Yet, there is not a single Konknni medium high school (Std V to X)! However, there are 16 Marathi, 6 Kannada and 4 Urdu medium high schools are found in Goa. From these one could conclude that in Goa parents do not prefer Konknni as the medium of instruction. Devanagari protagonists of Konknni have done nothing to promote Konknni as the medium of instruction in the government schools and in Hindu management schools. They want to continue their hegemony over the Christians and Bahujan Samaj of Hindu community by insisting "Mother tongue" as the medium of instruction, without defining what is the "Mother tongue" of Goans. In Goa, common places like bus stands and market places one hears more English, Hindi or Kannada languages compared to Marathi. Except the Bhat community and recent Maharashtrian settlers in Goa, native Goans have learnt Marathi through education. If Marathi could be considered as the regional language of Goa, then English has the greater right to claim as the important and popular regional language in Goa. Those who shout at the top of their voice "Mother tongue" should be the medium of primary education, run most of the Marathi and English medium primary schools and send their children and grand children to these schools! They themselves are the product of Marathi or English medium primary education. They preach to others what they do not practice! Parents and those who love and care for the children of Goa should unite and fight these forces of "Mother tongue" chauvinists and "patriotic" culturists.