Thursday, January 23, 2014

Goa remains unwilling to merge ClassV with primary section

Goa remains unwilling to merge ClassV with primary section

Gauree Malkarnekar, TNN Apr 21, 2013, 06.42PM IST

PANAJI: Despite central government's Right of Child to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, Goa government remains hesitant to merge Class V with the primary section in the state schools.
RTE requires states, which have a system of four years of primary schooling, to merge Class V with elementary schools and categorize Classes VI to VIII as upper primary.
Goa is one state which has repeatedly been asked by central education officials to switch to the recommended system that is now mandatory under the RTE Act.
"Goa's government aided primary schools are still functioning with the mother tongue as medium of instruction, whereas Class V onwards the medium of instruction is English. So if we merge Class V with the primary section, the question of medium of instruction will arise, which is already creating a furore in the state with many parents in favour of state funded English medium primary education," the source said.
Central officials have been told that as the present system is functioning well in Goa, the state should be permitted to stick to it. Sources, however, said Goa is facing several practical difficulties in moving Class V to the primary section.
"Many government primary schools are functioning from just four classrooms and if we want to shift Class V to such schools, there is no space. Also, teachers will have to be shifted to the primary sections from high schools and some might not be willing," official sources said.
After persistent instructions from central officials Goa clubbed Class V with the primary section only for budgeting purposes under the midday meal scheme from the last academic year. The centre's logic is that benefits drawn out for primary students should be extended to Class V students as well so that the schemes designed to retain students in school till Class V serve the purpose.

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