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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Panel backs English from Std I

The Madhav Shrinivas Kamat Committee has strongly recommended introduction of English in Std I, terming the Goa government decision as “progressive” and said the decision has to be backed with strong political will and well-planned road map for execution.
The Committee, however, strongly suggested introduction of easy and children-friendly English books published by the Maharashtra government in Std I and use of the Marigold English book for orientation of teachers.
Moreover, the Committee called for an embargo on opening of new schools till the government completes educational mapping by May 2007.
The committee headed by educationist Madhav Shrinivas Kamat submitted the report to the Education Minister, Luizinho Faleiro here on Wednesday.
Kamat told newsmen that the findings of the committee was unanimous except for a dissenting observation by member Gurudas Sawal, who felt that the English subject should be introduced from Std III instead of Std I of the vernacular medium primary schools.
The committee has mooted a 15-point remedial programme, including amendment of the Goa School Education (Amendment) Act 2006 restoring status quo ante regarding opening of new schools and condition of distance between schools.
Moreover, the Committee has strongly recommended a road map for long term development, including discouraging English medium schools and encouraging vernacular schools.
Kamat said that good and effective teaching of English subject at primary level is a bulwark against demand for primary education in English medium.
“If the vernacular medium primary schools fail to provide for teaching of English, the parents will vote against them and enroll their students in English medium private schools. That is the writing on the wall. If that happens, vernacular schools will languish and eventually perish. English is a powerful prop to save vernacular primary schools”, Kamat said.
He maintained that if vernacular schools die, the sufferers will be not only the learners and teachers, but the entire society at large will also loose as the product of English medium schools will be devoid of any linkage with the local culture; they will be rootless and robbed of an identity and be aliens in their own land”, the committee noted.

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