Goa govt worries over declining child ratio

Panaji, Apr 4 : The declining adult-to-child ratio in Goa has been attributed as reason for deteriorating number of students in the state government-run primary schools, a revelation that stunned the members of state legislative assembly.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the House that replacement rate is 1.72 per couple as against the required ratio of 2.32. "I think we need to reverse the family planning," he quipped as he responded to a question by a BJP legislator Lavoo Mamledar.

"Goan families are taking family planning strictly. There are one to two children in each family. The situation in Goa in next 15 years will be that will have more elder population than the young people," Parrikar said.

Parrikar, also Education Minister, admitted that quality of teaching in government run schools is far from satisfactory 'but it doesn't mean that English schools have good quality, not all though'.

The opposition benches expressed concern that from 268 government primary schools, students' strength less than 15 in each school. To this, Parrikar said that many parents are fascinated by schools in urban.

"I am ready to provide transport service but what do you expect me to develop a school which has only four students? The school should have at least 100 students or at the most 25," he added.

He simultaneously conceded that several government primary schools running with single teacher shut down for days together if s/he is on leave or roped-in for election duty.

"The lone teacher gathers all the children in one classroom and teaches them. We have therefore decided to post additional teachers in such schools. One English teacher will also be there," he said.

--IBNS (Posted on 04-04-2013)

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