With chief minister, Manohar Parrikar announcing his decision to continue grants to 127 government aided primary schools which shifted to English medium last year, students in unaided English schools will continue doling out ‘exorbitant’ fees. All Goa Unaided Schools Parents Association (AGUSPA) has said that the state should have given parents the freedom to choose the medium of instruction (MOI) by extending grants to all schools.
“The AGUSPA welcomes the chief minister’s decision to continue grants to schools which switched to English medium during the last academic year. Though Parrikar had contrary view on this issue, he decided to respect the choice of parents upholding democracy,” AGUSPA secretary Orlando Pacheco said.
Pacheco, however, sought to point out that the MOI issue is a fallout of the displeasure of parents over the functioning of the private unaided schools. He said that the MOI issue first came to the fore when AGUSPA began raising its voice against the exploitation of parents at the hands of management of these English medium private unaided schools in Goa, which have sprung up in different parts of the state since 1991.
“It must be noted that the movement to demand grants to English medium schools was first started by members of AGUSPA way back in 2009. The parents were aggrieved by the steep hike in fees by unaided English medium schools. However, the then government did not pay heed to our request, which resulted in filing of a suit in the high court by parents to prevent these English medium unaided schools from exploiting the parents,” Pacheco said.
Franky Monteiro, executive member of AGUSPA, expressed happiness that the efforts put in by certain members of AGUSPA since 2009 to give parents the choice to choose the MOI of their children have finally paid off with the Parrikar government’s decision to continue giving grants to 127 schools which switched to English. Monteiro, however, said, “I am of the opinion that the government should have agreed to give grants to all schools irrespective of the MOI as it is the decision of the parents to teach their child in the language they desire.”
AGUSPA, is a body of parents of students in unaided schools in Goa, which is battling in the court to get the ‘exorbitant’ fees charged by unaided English medium schools in the state regulated. The parents’ 2009 writ petition in the high court, among other things, has prayed that the directorate of education should check the financial records of such schools to verify if the annual fee hikes are necessary.
Courtesy : TOI