Times of India | 6 days ago | 05-08-2022 | 02:40 am
Panaji: The government must immediately withdraw its decision to merge 200-odd schools and come up with a holistic policy in education after careful deliberation with all the education stakeholders, GFP said on Thursday. GFP said that such a drastic step will have huge implications and should have been deliberated in detail before being abruptly announced by chief minister Pramod Sawant.The party described Sawant’s announcement as “irrational” and as an attempt to impress the national high command.“The state government has taken the decision to amalgamate schools over the weekend in a hurry to meet the August 7 deadline set by the Centre. There is no formal policy document in place,” said Durgadas Kamat, GFP’s general secretary.GFP said that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has already exposed the “mismanagement in the education system” but the “policy paralysis in the Goa government” has worsened under Sawant.“Students, teachers and parents are being put through hardships just because the government is bankrupt and wants to shut down many government schools,” said Kamat.The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 provides for access to elementary schools for children of the age group of 6-14 years, within the defined area or limits of neighbourhood.“The decision to amalgamate schools goes against the spirit of the Act. The idea behind Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan was to take schools to the villages. Today, the government wants to take the students out of the villages. This will lead to further dropouts in schools,” said Kamat.He said that education is a state subject and therefore careful deliberation is needed before any decision is taken. “The state government cannot act like a child trying to impress his teacher in class by being the first to submit the homework on time, albeit incomplete and full of mistakes.The decision to merge schools and the adoption of anganwadis by schools are the two irrational decisions that the Sawant government has taken within a week, said Kamat.“Not only do these two entities fall under two separate departments, the objectives are distinct.The government must withdraw both these decisions and come up with a holistic policy in education after careful deliberation with all the education stakeholders,” said Kamat.
Panaji: A cabinet note from April 2020 pertaining to the purchase of tur dal surfaced online on Monday prompting Congress and GFP to turn the heat on the government. GFP president Vijai Sardesai and state Congress chief Amit Patkar accused chief minister Pramod Sawant and former civil supplies minister Govind Gaude of denying their role in the fiasco that saw more than 200 tonne of tur dal getting rotten in a government godown.The cabinet note, which was signed by then civil supplies secretary Isha Khosla, states that Sawant and Gaude approved the purchase of 408 tonnes of tur dal for public distribution at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.“The chief minister cannot distance himself from this scam and say that he did not want the dal to be procured,” said Sardesai. “I am going to write to the PM because this scam happened during the lockdown and the guilty have to be brought to book.”Sawant said that the state vigilance department will investigate why over 200 tonne of rotten tur dal that have been lying in the godowns of the department of civil supplies since the start of the pandemic were allowed to rot. Sawant said that, after the inquiry, those found responsible will be punished.“He should not try to make some government officer a scapegoat. There is a procurement scam here and he needs to go in depth into this through an SIT,” said Sardesai. State civil supplies director Gopal Parsekar said 400 tonne of tur dal had been delivered to the department’s godowns at the start of the pandemic for distribution in containment zones through fair price shops. Of this, 242 tonne of the pulses valued at Rs 1.5 crore remained unsold at the godowns.The pulses were procured at Rs 79,000 per tonne and were to be sold to ration card holders at Rs 83 per kg over a period of two months.Congress said that BJP’s lies are unravelling.
Panaji: The recent instance of wastage of 242 tonnes of tur dal and 10 tonnes of sugar yet again reveals the “Shah Jahan” mentality of the BJP-led government, said Goa Forward Party (GFP) president Vijai Sardesai.“Food items that should have been given to the poor people have been allowed to rot. When the mentality is of Shah Jahan, you forget that there are poor people in this world,” Sardesai said while addressing a press conference.He said that it was the job of the civil supplies department to ensure that the dal and the sugar reaches the needy. He said that the government should have delegated the responsibility to the panchayat department and local BDOs. “The government says it will take action, the action should be against the minister. Accountability has to happen at the top, not at the bottom by making someone a scapegoat and then saying that action has been taken,” Sardesai said.
Panaji: GFP on Monday criticised the state government for the falling school enrolment and other shortfalls in the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). Blaming chief minister Pramod Sawant for the faulty implementation of the SSA scheme, GFP said Sawant remains focused on selling Goa’s resources instead of investing in the education of the future generation.Citing the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) report, GFP said that the education department’s lapses negatively affected the students.“The CAG exposed the government’s failure and policy paralysis in the school education sector. The CAG pointed out various shortfalls of the government indicating lethargy and financial bankruptcy plaguing this government,” GFP vice-president Dilip Prabhudesai said.The CAG report stated that the Goa government failed to prepare the perspective five-year plans, annual work plans and budget at the district-level because of which the Centre withheld funding for the education sector. The report also showed a drop in the student enrolment ratio.“Infrastructure works in various schools are pending and the government has not provided uniforms to students. More than 400 schools are operating with just one teacher,” Prabhudesai said.In a reply to a question in the assembly, Sawant, who holds the education portfolio, said that no amount was allocated by the Centre towards the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan for 2021-22. However, the Centre has informed the Parliament that Rs 18.6 crore was approved for Goa of which Rs 4.1 crore was released.
Panaji: Goa Forward Party (GFP) has taken it upon itself to compel the government to generate employment in the private sector. The party has set 12 targets, which include forcing the government to hand over every vacant plot to entrepreneurs and industries so that it is utilised to create employment. The party has not explained how it intends to convince Goa industrial development corporation (GIDC) to allot industrial plots. However, GFP president and Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai did say that the party will go to every constituency and create awareness about the vacant plots and the need to create employment opportunities in Goa. TNN
Panaji: Calling out chief minister Pramod Sawant who urged Goans to create personal libraries and read more, Goa Forward Party (GFP) said that the BJP-led state government has drastically slashed funding for libraries and books.Providing data from the state budget, GFP president Vijai Sardesai said that Sawant, who also holds the education portfolio, has stopped funding school libraries and has also slashed capital expenditure on state libraries to just 5% of the previous year.“After cutting budgetary allocation for libraries in this budget, our CM talks of Read India and promoting library culture,” said Sardesai. “Capital expenditure for libraries was Rs 2 crore last year, but is just Rs 10 lakh this year.”While Rs 50 lakh was provided in 2021-22 for purchase of books for school libraries, this year no budget provision was made. The budget also provided Rs 20 lakh for setting up modern libraries in higher education colleges as against Rs 28 lakh in the previous year.Funding for the art and culture department to promote and develop libraries and reading culture in the state has also been reduced from Rs 2.5 lakh in 2021-22 to Rs 50,000 this year.Revolutionary Goans Party president Manoj Parab also took a dig at Sawant, questioning how the government permitted Union minister Smriti Irani to setup an illegal bar at Assagao.“Chief minister Pramod Sawant, before advising Goans to have a book library in the house, you should have first told your party leader and Union minister Smriti Irani to start a library in Goa and not an illegal bar,” said Parab.The government has slashed grants to libraries under the private initiative from Rs 20 lakh last year to Rs 15 lakh this year.