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Will Pvt Konkani-Marathi schools get more students with Rs 400/student?

The new scheme of financial assistance in the budget has posed a challenge before the private school managements to get maximum students in Konkani, Marathi or Urdu medium as they would gain substantially to run their school in a more professional manner.

Replacing the old scheme announced by former chief minister Manohar Parrikar, his successor Laxmikant Parsekar has now announced a new scheme – Rs 400 behind every student every month.

The benefit would go to the school, not the parent, but for unlimited period.

What it means, in simple, is that the aided private primary schools with Konkani, Marathi or Urdu medium would get financial assistance of minimum Rs 2.88 lakh per year, with minimum 20 students per class from Std I to IV.

“The schools would be paid this special assistance for all 12 months”, Parsekar told goanews.com.

While continuing salary grants to the English medium primary schools run by Church-led Diocesan Board of Education, Parrikar had announced special assistance to the Konkani and Marathi medium schools in his 2012 budget.

It was one-time grant of Rs 12 lakh for the first year and Rs one lakh each for the subsequent five years, making it total Rs 17 lakh in six years, to construct a building and other infrastructure.

However, the scheme turned out to be a big flop due to several conditions laid down by the department to avail the scheme, as a result of which none of the 40 applicants could avail it in the last four years.

“This scheme has no such conditions and the schools can utilise the funds to build necessary infrastructure including furniture and equipment”, Parsekar told goanews.com.

There are 96 Marathi, 45 Konkani and 3 Urdu medium schools run by private managements in Goa.

Prashant Naik, chairman of the Nirakar Education Society, hopes that they get these funds with retrospective effect since they had opened Konkani medium schools with a plan to build the infrastructure based on the old scheme.

He however points out that many Konkani or Marathi medium schools in the rural areas are short of enough number of students and education department relaxes the limit of 20 students.

Such schools would obviously benefit less from this scheme due to short of students.

“We are allowed to run schools with less number of students in the class but the department is very strict with the number of teachers provided in proportionate to the number of students”, observed Naik, who is also associated with Konkani Bhasha Mandal School in Margao.

He is now planning to convene a meeting of Konkani school managements to demand relaxation also for the teachers so that parents get attracted towards Konkani medium schools, which would be now well-equipped with better facilities than the other private schools.

“If the government doesn’t agree with our demand of more teachers, then only city-run private schools would benefit from this scheme, not the ones in the villages”, feels Naik, who runs Konkani schools in remote areas like Mashem and Gaodongri in Canacona taluka. {goanews}

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