Panaji: Aam Aadmi Party today lamented the fact that on the 110th birth anniversary of Goa’s first Chief Minister late Bhausaheb Bandodkar who initiated a revolution in education by making primary schools accessible to all sections of society the very schools started by him are now closing down.
If at all Goa has achieved such high literacy rate it is thanks to the vision of Bhausaheb who started government primary schools in literally every ward in a village so that children could get education right at their houses and thus started the institution called government primary schools.
Not only did these schools provide education to the children but also provided employment opportunity to many women who otherwise had no other source of income.
Marcaim constituency which is now known as Madkai was the constituency from where Bhausaheb was elected and it is sad to note that 24 government primary schools in this constituency have closed down and what is truly shocking is that of the 253 primary schools in Ponda taluka 47 have closed down.
What is appalling is that today though the government has provided buses for government primary schools so that the children do not have to walk from home, still the number of children coming to government primary schools is dwindling and schools are forced to shut down.
As per the education department at present 107 government primary schools conduct regular classes in Ponda taluka and they are managed by 203 teachers of which around 18 have been recruited in the last three or four years.
The main reason for decline in children joining government primary schools is the fact that present day parents are educated and understand English and hence get their children admitted to English medium schools so that the children will not face the hardships they had faced.
It is only those people who cannot afford to pay the exorbitant fees charged by the English medium schools who send their children to the government primary schools and this is what is keeping these schools alive.
The question that comes to mind is why should education not be in the mother tongue and why should English be so favoured? Of course there is no denying the fact that the quality of education provided at the government primary schools is pathetic and deplorable due to which parents do not get their children enrolled there.
In Madkai constituency the government primary schools real purpose and necessity is seen at the time of elections as the staff at these schools are used for election work. Along with this work it is time the government seriously considers improving the quality of education in government primary schools so that they do not become defunct and extinct but keep Goa’s first chief minister Bhausaheb Bandodkar’s dream of educated and enlightened Goa alive