Panaji, Jul 25: Adding new dimension to the vexed issue of Medium of Instruction in Goa, Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly Pratapsinh Rane today demanded that Portuguese be made second language in schools.
"We should have no problem with any language. I learnt Portuguese because our own documents are in Portuguese," the Congress leader said during the discussion on the 'Demands for Grants' on first day of Monsoon Session of Assembly.
"It (Portuguese) should be second language for the students to learn. If you want to know the history of what happened in past, you should know this language also," the former chief minister said.
Referring to the controversy over MoI in schools, Rane said the issue is still hanging fire. "They (parties) have been debating (the issue) since more than four-and-half years. I don't know what is going to be the outcome but they should have been able to solve this problem," he said.
Portuguese is still spoken in many Goan homes as the coastal state had been under the colonial rule for 450 years before it was finally liberated in 1961. Taking a dig at BJP-led state government, Rane said the party had promised many things to farmers, youths and others but has failed to implement them.
"These things have not been implemented till this date. This budget is the last budget of this government. The government can introspect whether they have achieved the promises that they made during election (sic)," he said.
Rane also criticised government for its "failure to maintain standard" in government-run schools, saying "more attention should be paid to those government schools which have scarcity of teachers".
The issue of MoI has been going on for many years, with different organisations favouring different languages. Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) has demanded the state's mother tongue Konkani to be the medium of instruction. They have also sought withdrawal of grants given to English medium schools.