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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Konkani textbooks to be printed at last

MANGALORE: A timely intervention by Commissioner for Public Instruction M. Madan Gopal in waiving of some of the costs involved in printing Konkani textbooks ordered by the Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy for sixth standard students has cleared the decks for the process. The academy has placed an order for 3,000 textbooks with the Karnataka Text Books Society and expects to receive them on Saturday.

Initially the academy was to receive the textbooks on June 4. However, the printing process had got put off at the beginning as the society sought a payment of Rs. 20,000 towards plate-making charges, which the academy requested to be waived. Managing Director of the society Eshwaraiah had pleaded helplessness in the matter, saying that he was not empowered to take a decision.

Left with no alternative, the academy took up the matter with Mr. Gopal through its president Eric Ozario. Mr. Gopal told The Hindu over phone from Bangalore that he had approved a request made by Mr. Ozario during a meeting with hi m on Monday. “I have issued instructions to the society to go ahead with the printing of the textbooks, and the process is now in its final stages,” he said.

Mr. Ozario, while expressing gratitude to Mr. Gopal for the gesture, said that the academy was sending a person to Bangalore with a demand draft for the amount payable to the society. “The society will hand over the textbooks to us on Friday, and we expect them to reach here on Saturday,” he said. “These textbooks will be distributed free to students who choose to study Konkani as an optional language in schools.”

The academy has organised a half-day workshop for Konkani teachers here on Saturday. “It will be ideal if we get the textbooks in time for the workshop so that the teachers know exactly what they are dealing with,” Mr. Ozario said.

Last year, the academy had brought out a textbook which it used for teaching Konkani to 1,586 students in 56 schools in three coastal districts outside of the official academic setup.

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