Protests in Goa over grants for schools

Parents of students demanding government grants for all schools with English as a medium of instruction on Friday held a protest in Goa, blocking major roads and creating traffic snarls across the state.

Currently Church-run schools, where the medium of instruction is in English, form the bulk of educational institutions which are entitled to government grants.

The agitation by Forum for Rights of Children’s Education (FORCE) also resulted in criticism from legislators during the ongoing monsoon session of the Goa legislative assembly.

The agitation by FORCE resulted in major road blockages in major towns like Panaji, Mapusa, Margao, and Vasco, while police said a few government buses were pelted with stones.

FORCE, through its convenor Savio Lopes, has been demanding government grProtests in Goa over grants for schoolsants to all schools where the English language is the medium of instruction.

No new school, in which English is the medium of instruction, can avail of such grants. Only those new schools where the medium of language is any regional Indian language can avail of such grants.

Reacting to the agitation, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Vishnu Wagh, during a special discussion on the agitation in the Goa legislative assembly, demanded a probe against all school managements which were complicit in fuelling the agitation.

“Many schools had issued a circular asking parents to assemble for these protests. Probe all schools which issued such circulars,” Wagh said, a demand which found echo amongst several ruling legislators like Pramod Sawant and Public Works Department Minister Sudin Dhavalikar, who demanded a roll back of grants to schools involved in the protests.

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Wednesday had assured that the medium of instruction issue would be resolved during the next state legislative assembly session.