PANAJI: Backing those demanding mother tongue as the Medium of Instruction (MOI) in Goa's primary schools, Union Minister Shripad Naik has suggested that the BJP-led state government rectify its policy in this regard.
"It is their right to agitate. It is a universal principle that primary education should be in mother tongue," he told reporters in Goa yesterday. Notably, the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) yesterday began its statewide protest meetings, beginning from Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar's Mandrem constituency in North Goa, demanding regional languages as MOI.
BBSM is a body of like-minded people advocating regional languages to be MOI in schools. The Union minister for AYUSH said, "Goa government has enough opportunity to correct the fallacies in the MOI policy."
"BBSM is right in agitating and demanding their right of primary education in mother tongue," he further said. Goa government had earlier announced a policy for making regional languages as MOI, but continued giving grants to 127 schools in English medium, which irked the BBSM.
"There are attempts made to work out a solution for this problem. Everyone is trying their best to solve this problem, and hence I feel everyone should take two steps back and allow the government to work on the solution," Naik suggested, without elaborating further.
"If our next generation has to be attached to the ethos and culture of the state, then it is required that they should be educated in mother tongue," he said. Responding to a question, he said the state government's policy is wrong. "But then Congress and the current BJP government had to take decision depending on the circumstances prevailing at that time," he added.
Chief Minister Parsekar had recently reiterated his preference for local languages during the Budget session of the state Legislative Assembly.