Parents in particular are waiting with bated breath for the long awaited announcement from Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar over the Medium of Instructions (MoI) issue. Going by the remarks made to the media, it is expected that Parrikar would unfurl his government’s policy with regard to MoI later this evening — just three days ahead of re-opening of the new academic year. We therefore anticipate an all pleasing verdict, in keeping with the fairness expected from a State chief minister.
Considering that the chief minister has declared that the policy would contain everything that people have been looking for, and all issues raised by the people would be taken care of, the outlook appears to be positive. This is evident by his giveaway announcement wherein he declared that ALL schools would benefit.
Educationists running the educational institutions are presently in a quandary over the issue, as the State Government is still unclear on the matter of giving grants to primary schools. The vexed issue had brought several groups on the street, with some of the elected party men within the BJP leading the brigade, in a bid to deny grants to schools offering English as medium of instructions. Parrikar however has been unequivocal in saying that nobody could pressurize him into a decision. His recent words in another context perhaps endorses this:” A person is yet to be born who can pressurize me.”
It may be recalled that in spite of the previous Government taking a decision to sanction grants to English medium primary schools, the grants were eventually given only to Marathi and Konkani medium schools as the implementation of the circular was put on hold by the high court after some vested interests approached courts challenging the earlier Government’s policy, thereby throwing the 150-odd Diocesan schools who offered instructions in English in a quandary. Those who had approached the court managed to get the matter frozen. The Congress government, which strangely stalled initiating any further action, after a cabinet decision, looked silly in the public eye.
The denial of grants has been in violation of the democratic principles and article 30 (2) of the Constitution. The Constitution clearly offers freedom of choice in this regard. Now that even the Konkani Bhasha Mandal, a pioneering institute of Konkani in a way, has lately decided to open a secondary school in English Medium, it is recognition of the ground reality, thereby buttressing the demand for freedom on the choice in the medium of instruction.
People demanding this freedom are not playing politics, or seeking to play a game of one-upmanship, but the demand emanates from deep concern for their wards vis-à-vis their livelihood. If the parents prefer that their wards must be educated in Urdu, so be it. Perhaps, their cultural identity is of more importance and may be even linked to their means of livelihood.
Parents of young children in the State would not be satisfied with the ridiculous offer of a status quo on the controversy, because such a decision is not the answer. We expect the IITian chief minister to settle the matter once and for all, without fear or favour, always keeping the interests of parents uppermost. Past leaders have obfuscated the issue. We expect Parrikar to rise up to the occasion.
Inaccurate weather forecasts
By Arecio De Souza, Cuncolim
Monsoon in Goa lasts from June till end of Oct. Till today no one can predict the Indian monsoon accurately. I have been observing the monsoon in Goa for the last 40 years and seen sometimes monsoon starting in mid-May and sometimes in the third week of June. Normally, it starts in the ?rst week of June. Although we have four and half months of rain in Goa, it is not or never continuous. Usually after a heavy to very heavy rainfall it stops because after a very heavy down pour and ?ooding, the atmospheric temperature comes down to the extinct of 260 C to 250 C. Under this condition the rain has to stop, as the pressure of air rises and so the rain bearing winds move in other direction, to the direction where there is low pressure. If the rainfall is scanty, then it will continue, with interment showers. We may also have depression or cyclones in this season, depending on how much low pressure exists. If the atmospheric pressure is very low, we call it as depression or a cyclone. Under such conditions, air from the high pressure areas will rush towards the low pressure area at a very high velocity in a particular direction, giving rise to heavy rainfall and causing destruction to life and Property.
Normally, rainfall depends upon the atmospheric temperature, pressure and humidity. Even if the rainfall in Goa is heavy, water does not remain on land for long, as land has a slope towards west and the water runs off quickly back to the Arabian Sea.
During childhood we had noticed how if monsoons were delayed, people would be restless due to drinking water wells going dry and farmers waiting to grow their crops. Hindus used to perform Pujas, Christians used to take the statue of St. Anthony in a procession to pray for rain. Common people believe that during certain festivals, may be of Christians or Hindus – it is bound to rain. These are superstitions.
There is one third of the land area in the world which consists of deserts, which gets no rain or scanty rain. During rainy season any day may be dry or any day there may be rain, Irrespective of any festivals.
For the last so many years I have been observing the daily report on weather forecast of Goa Meteorology of?ce. The weather forecast is disgusting, to say the least. Instead of properly guiding the/people, the office is guilty of misguiding them, with the office failing to correctly forecast the weather even once. About two years ago, the office issued a report in the media that they purchased the latest machinery to be installed at the Meteorological Of?ce to forecast weather. It is also absurd to forecast the temperature a day in advance, specially during the monsoons because most of the time the sky is Overcast.
In the United States, people go out of their homes depending what the weathermen forecast. Unlike ours, their forecast is accurate. In this age of modern technology, it is ridiculous to depend on old, outdated technology to dish out erroneous weather reports and consequently misguide the public.
? The author is a former State Minister and a retired school teacher.