Sunday, November 8, 2009

Educational Vision for Goa

Preliminary Draft

Educational Vision for Goa
By Carmo D’Souza (M.Sc., B. Ed., LL.M., Ph.D. (Laws))

Educational Vision for Goa

A Paper
Prepared by Ismilda Research Consultancy

Dedicated to the Memory of our brother Savio D’Souza

IntroductionA debate rages whether Goa should be an Educational Hub, with outstanding academicians sharing their views on both the sides of the fence, and some advocating it but to be implemented with great care and caution, to protect local interests. It has been decided to put here some views forward on behalf of Ismilda Research Consultancy for an internet debate and discussion. At the outset it must be clear that the views are subject to change and correction, especially after getting a feed back from the readers.

The paper is based on few inputs from the internet, and more on personal observations and is intended to motivate debate. However, it is decided to update the paper in course of time with the feed back obtained. This is planned as an ongoing continuous project subject to feedback.

Limitations For preliminary information, the net material and books have been used. Personal observations of the writer frequently resorted specially in the later part of the paper may suffer from subjectivity and bias, and hence need to be corrected.

Inputs Desired The present paper is merely a thought provoking exercise and lot of inputs are desired if it is going to benefit the Educational System in Goa. Hence we are expecting inputs from educationists, industrialists and others both in Goa and in the Diaspora. Our readers are requested to send their inputs to

Contents The following is the outline of the present paper:
1. Preliminary Information
2. Strengthening the Primary Education
3. Knowledge Village, Goa for Primary and Secondary Education
4. University with Affiliated Colleges
5. Specialized Institutes/Schools/Research Centers relevant to Goa.
6. Opening Goa for the Educational Hub
7. Recommendations

Preliminary InformationPreliminary Information consist of short notes on various concepts, institutions, terms, social structures, developmental history etc. which is needed to understand better the presentation of the paper.

Educational HubsIn order to understand the Educational Hub Culture it is decided to discuss a few of them which may be relevant to understand Goa’s case.

University of Coimbra

In Goa many of the students in Pre-liberation days weaved their romantic student dreams in the campus of Coimbra University, with its rich tradition of studies, culture, dance, music and festivals . Hence it is decided to give a brief outline of Coimbra University.

University of Coimbra , has a long tradition being one of the oldest University of Portugal. It has a long continuous operation in Europe and the world. It is a founding member of the Coimrba group. It grants highest academic degrees in architecture, education, engineering, humanities, law, mathematics, medicine, natural sciences, psychology, social sciences , sports and so on.

The University was founded in 1290 by King Diniz having its existence in Lisbon with the name Studium Generale (Estudo Geral). The Royal charter Scientiae thesaurus mirabilis announced the institution of the University on 1st March 1290. The Papal confirmation was given on 9th August 1290, during the Papacy of the Pope Nicholas IV.
In 1308, due to problems including perhaps that of the emancipation from the Church, the University was moved to Coimbra. The University was then established on the site known as "Estudos Velhos", which corresponds roughly to the area where the Main Library stands today.
In 1338, during the reign of Afonso IV, it was once again transferred to Lisbon, and it returned to Coimbra in 1354, to the centre of the town. In 1377, during the reign of King Fernando, it was transferred yet again back to Lisbon.
In 1537, during the reign of Joao III, the university moved to Coimbra, where it was installed in the Alcaçova Palace. The entire university institution, including all the books from its library , were moved from Lisbon to Coimbra. At the same time, a restructuring of the curricula was undertaken and Portuguese and foreign teachers were recruited.
In 18th century radical reforms were introduced in the university by Marquis of Pombal, Minister of King Jose regarding the teaching of sciences. Associacao Academica de Coimbara is an important structure of extracurricular formation comprising of the students of Coimbra University. It was formed on 3rd November 1887, and is the oldest university students' union in Portugal. Today it has a very dynamic associative life, with its numerous sports and cultural sections, as well as a number of other autonomous organizations with activities such as theatre, cinema, radio and television broadcast, music , choral singing, journalism or philately, as well as rowing, athletics and many other sports .
Culture, sports and traditions - Many academic traditions and institutions are closely related to this university with a strong impact on the city's life. The old "Republics" (autonomous students' residences) remain, along with some traditional festivities, most notably the “Queima das Fitas" (a celebration of graduation's end, symbolized by the burning of the ribbons ), the "Festa das Latas" (a homecoming), the frequent use of traditional attire, the singing of the " Fado de Coimbara ", and the academic ceremonies (namely the conferring of doctorate degrees).

The Praxe is a body of ritual and custom founded upon ancient traditions and it is an important part of Coimbra's academic life. The rules of the Praxe are contained in a book (The Code of Academic Praxe), which defines appropriate student behavior for activities like drafting, evaluation, for groups or bands and the Burning of the Ribbons ritual. The academic life in Coimbra is filled with tradition, and rituals tend to be quite memorable.

One distinctive tradition is the use of the academic costume, a black suit and cape used on special occasions by the students. Similar academic outfits have been adopted by other Portuguese universities. Praxe almost disappeared in the years after the 25 April Revolution of 1974 ( Revolucao de Cravos) and was reinstated in 1980s. However the significance of the traditional academic attire changed substantially.
The sports sections of the Associacao Academica de Coimbara play a significant role in Coimbra's sport life. They include rugby, handball, basketball, baseball, martial arts, athletics, gymnastic or swimming, among others. Just as with the cultural sections, every student, including professional or semi-professional athletes, may belong to them.
Conclusion - It is to be noted that Coimbra model may be good for purpose of discussion as it had historical ties with Goa. The contributions of Goan Poet Adeodato Barreto to student’s life of Coimbra University is significant with his connections with the front line Indian Independence leaders and with Rabidranath Tagore in particular . There may be many more from Goa who have made outstanding contribution to Coimbra . However the Coimbra model developed slowly and gradually over the centuries with traditions accumulating over the years.
Plans for Education Hub at Dubai Dubai International Academic City has unveiled ambitious plans to expand into an education hub for the entire Middle East, North Africa and Asia, with nearly 40 universities catering for 40,000 students.
Dr Ayoub Kazim, the executive director, believes that graduates educated in the city would play a vital part in developing the UAE’s “knowledge economy”.
Diac ( Dubai International Academic City) is to be the world’s first higher education free zone. Ras al Khaimah too announced its own education free zone on a similar scale.
Currently there are 10,000 students at 25 universities based in Diac and Dubai Knowledge Village, another free-zone run by Dr Kazim that is also part of Tecom Investments.
Dr Kazim, a US educated engineer said “We need to attract the talent and we are looking forward to have Dubai as a city based on the knowledge economy by 2020”. He further says that he has based his vision for Diac on “the Boston model”.
Ras al Khaimah plans a higher education free-zone with universities with a combined enrolment of 38,000, while Abu Dhabi will see the opening of a branch of Khalifa University and the building of campuses for the Paris-Sorbonne and New York University.

Conclusion – The Dubai model is a recent model based on the possibility of providing facilities for Middle East , Asia and Africa.

University: Bologna Reform
A brief note on Bologna Plan based on internet information has been outlined here , as while planning or restructuring Education in Goa , its account may be taken by the academicians. Consideration of Bologna Plan may also be relevant to the Indian Educational System, with so many Universities in the country.
The Bologna Plan was born from the Bologna Declaration, an agreement signed in 1999, by the Ministers of Education of the members of the European Union. The main goal is to form the Superior Education European Space, which should be effective by 2010.
The objective is to adapt all the particularities of the different national education systems so as to allow a free exchange of academics and students throughout the whole European territory. At the same time, the idea is to renew the contents of the Universities Education programs, graduate and postgraduate, in accordance with new social and economic demands.
A new system – In addition to this, a new system of university credits will be applied, in the form of European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). This will take into consideration not only the credits assigned to theory classes but also those in accordance to the student’s work. Recognition and comparisons between universities will be structured using ECTS as basis.
Two learning cycles- This system will also implement university studies based on two learning cycles, resembling the Anglo-Saxon model. In this way, after 3 or 4 years of study, the student will achieve a Graduate Title and within 1-2 years, the student will obtain a postgraduate specialization degree, on a Master’s level.
Problems of the Bologna Plan- Most of the complaints against this system focus on the less autonomy. The Faculties of the Universities will have to grant intermediate or different titles than those proposed by the Bologna Plan.
In addition to this, some people think specialization courses will cost around 3.000 Euros, which everyone cannot afford. To aspire to that specific title and be able to compete in the working market with any chance to succeed, students will have to apply for University grants and loans. Mainly critics say that this system will lead to a reduction of the public budget for education and the substitution of graduate and postgraduate scholarships for loans.
In conclusion, to elevate the level of superior education in Europe and unite or combine the criteria between the different European Universities is something worth considering and even admirable. The necessary measures must be taken so as to avoid an excessive commercialization of this superior education, which can blow away any chance, for many European citizens, to acquire a professional formation and evolve in their specialty.

Lavale Compex at Pune Lured by picturesque surroundings and proximity to infotech hubs, institutes are moving in to Lavale village, near Pune.

A large number of educational institutions are setting up huge premises inside this valley in the Western Ghats , around 10 Kilometers away from Pune.

Symbiosis International University, Bharati Vidyapeeth and the newly established Foundation for Liberal and Management Education (FLAME) already have their presence in this valley, which is building its brand as the country’s largest education hub.

Lavale , a village in the Mulshi taluka of Pune district is known for is picturesque surroundings . A hillock separates Lavale from Pune city.

The educational institutes coming up in this valley are constructing roads and other civic facilities in this region to connect this valley of education to the main city areas. So far the place has access difficulties. Crores of rupees are being spent to provide world-class infrastructure and living conditions at this serene locality to attract students even from Europe, US and Australia.

While Symbiosis is setting up its medical education institution at Lavale along with a mass communication institution and its research wing , Bharati Vidyapeeth has planned a huge campus spread over 300 acres to run courses in disciplines like medicine, engineering and management .

Apart from these two big brands, promoter of liberal education, FLAME, too has set up its campus over an area of 75 acres.

The education barons believe that within 10 years from now, this particular section of Pune district would develop into the country’s largest educational hub providing all kinds of education.

FLAME founder Parag Shah told Business Standard that Lavale valley has all the features to build a strong academic culture and atmosphere.

“At FLAME, we are providing under-graduate courses, which are not constrained to streams such as arts, commerce or science. A student can select subjects of his or her choice. Our prime focus remains on performing arts and sports. There is no other institution of this kind in the country where a graduation degree is not confined to a particular stream. A student can study arts, literature, commerce along with chemistry and physics,” says Shah. FLAME also provides courses such as post-graduate diploma in management and mass communication.

“We have invested around Rs 100 crore to set up this entire campus. Swimming pool, football ground, badminton courts and an upcoming cricket stadium are all here for the students,” states Shah. FLAME also has a full-fledged ready-to-use golf course next to it.

Symbiosis International University has also developed ‘Dyangram’ campus here, which is also ready to start academic programmes. Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM) and Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management (SITM) will shift to this premises from June 2008. It also plans to set up a hospital near its campus with an investment of Rs. 60 crore.

All this development will proliferate further as the state government has proposed a modification in the regional plan for Pune district which will open up a large area under green zone for construction activity.

This will ensure that a part of agricultural land would be available for public or semi-public use. Lavale village, therefore, is all set to become one of the biggest educational hubs in the country.

Institutions in Goa Relevant to Present StudyHere brief notes are added on some institutions existing in Goa in the past or which function today which have some relevancy in planning an Educational Vision for Goa. They may be useful in building concepts, linking the past, finding historical continuity, searching for traditions etc.
College of St. Paul and Church of St. Paul
Diogo de Borba and Minguel Vaz, started the seminary of the Holy Faith for training young converts . The construction began in November 1541 and was completed on January 25, 1543, the day of feast of Conversion of St. Paul. The College and the Church was dedicated to that great writer of Epistles and a pillar of Catholic Church .
The College of St Paul was among the largest in India. Beside elementary instruction, higher education in Music, Latin, Arts and sciences was also imparted here. Also there were lectures in Philosophy and theology. It also conferred Master of Arts and Doctorate Degrees.
In 1548, when Fr Borba passed away, the seminary was handed over to St. Francis Xavier, who had then reached Goa and was residing at the Hospital Real (Royal Hospital). Xavier had selected Royal Hospital as his residence out of his own free choice so as to permit him to work with the sick too. The College of St. Paul’s was the first house of the Jesuit Order in Goa. After some years, the old college building was demolished and the two separate buildings were constructed, both connected to each other by a passage. The Seminary i.e Seminário de Santa Fé was for the students, whereas the other building called Colégio de São Paulo was for the residence of the Jesuits.

In 1556, King Dom Joao III issued an ordinance by which the College was opened for secular studies. By 1568 around three thousand students from India and other parts of Asia were enrolled at the college.
Besides the Seminary of Santa Fe, the following institutions were attached to the College: a novitiate, a professed house, a hospital and a house for the new converts. The College had a large library and the first printing press in Asia was housed in this College. The press was responsible for large number of first printed publications. The arrival of the press in Goa is another fascinating story.
In 1560 the Church was demolished on account of its weak condition. The foundation stone for a larger Church with three naves was laid on 25th January, 1560. It was twenty years later that one of the walls developed cracks and three arches of magnificent dimensions covering the existing road were built as support under the supervision of Jesuit João de Faria. As such it was popularly known as Sao Paulo dos Arcos (St. Paul of Arches).
Conclusion: College of St. Paul may be used to link the past with the present higher education model .

Practice by Vaidyas & Hakims
Ancient Indian medicine based on the reading of the pulse etc. was practiced by Vaidyas in Goa. There is a mention about them in some Portuguese documents. Some of the practices of Vaidyas & Hakims are mentioned by Garcia de Orta in his monumental work on medical practices in India. The practitioners of these systems obtained knowledge from their forefathers, from some records and from their own life-time experience. They passed this know how as part of family traditions to the next generation . As per Goa Gazetteer these two systems of medicine viz. ayurvedic and unani, were in vague in the district when it became part of the Portuguese Empire in the sixteenth century . The Vaidyas and Hakims were held in high esteem even by the Portuguese authorities’. Besides receiving handsome remuneration they obtained privileges like using umbrellas, going on horseback or even roaming in Palanquins. During some periods of religious persecution , they were harassed and hence fled to neighboring territory.

Goa University

Goa University was established in 1985 incorporating within existing Post Graduate Centre for Instruction and Research of the University of Bombay. The Post Graduate Centre for Instruction and Research was housed at Susheela building . Goa University was first temporarily housed at Bambolim Medical Complex and is located today on the Taleigao Plateau.

The Goa University has become the centre of higher education in the State of Goa. It consists of 23 PG Departments and 2 Centres of studies which offer academic programmes leading to masters and Ph.D. degrees in various disciplines. It also offers PG Diploma programmes in selected disciplines.

Degree programmes in Physical Education and Fire Technology have been added during the academic year 2004-05. Four year B.Sc. (Nursing) degree has been added during the academic year 2005-06. The University has launched a certificate course in Portuguese language through DEITI in 2005-06. M. Com. (Distance Education Mode) was launched during 2005-06.
The Academic Staff College supported by UGC conducts orientation courses for college/university teachers. Almost 46 professional and non-professional colleges/institutions, for undergraduate teaching are affiliated to the University. In addition, 8 research institutions are recognized by the University for Research in various disciplines.
In 2001 the University was accredited with Four Star rating on a 5-point scale by NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council). Its PG departments, over the years have developed excellent facilities for research.
In January 2004, Goa University-IIT Bombay Interactive Distance Education programme in Information Technology was launched. Goa University in collaboration with the University of Salzburg, Austria has launched the online programme in Geographic Information Science (GIS) in April, 2005. The Third Batch of students from Nihon University, Japan completed the semester programme under Study India Programme (SIP) from September 2005 to February 2006. With financial assistance from UGC the Internet bandwidth of the LAN network was upgraded to 512 kbps in 2002. The Central Library receives e-journals regularly as part of the Goa University-UGC-ERNET MoU.
The DEITI (Distance Education Information and Training Infrastructure) Studio up linked to ‘Edusat’ in August 2004 is regularly telecasting educational programmes and programmes of general interest through the 27 Centres.
Education in Pre-Liberation Period

Introduction Before discussing the educational vision for Goa , it is decided to outline briefly the evolution of Education in Goa. However, this is based on some subjective views and needs more support from documentary references. It is hoped that the gaps will be filled by discussion over the net.

Educational Scenario in Pre- Liberation Goa – An Overview Under the Kadambas, there were Pathashalas imparting training in Sanskrit, literature, Vedas, Yogas, Shastras, etc. There were small study centres run in maths, agraharas and Brahmapuris , wherein education was imparted in Vedas, Shastras and Puranas . Education was confined to Brahmins, Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas. During the Muslim rule attempts were made to introduce the Madrasas. With the Portuguese advent Seminary education gained prominence. Missionary and religious orders did contribute in setting their own pattern of religious education.

In 1554 primary schools known as Parish Schools were instituted by King John II of Portugal. They imparted education in reading, writing , singing religious chants etc. Elementary schools became very popular and were opened in almost all the parishes of Goa. On the women front the Convent of Santa Monica and the retreats of Nossa Senhora de Serra and Santa Maria Magdalena were responsible for developing feminine arts as per the concepts of those times. Those efforts of the past are mere shadows with the present day empowerment of women on the educational front. In 1773, the Government established public grammar schools. Also two institutions were added intended to teach the military and naval arts. It was followed in 1812 by the Mathematical School . In 1817 the three institutions were amalgamated into one under the label of “Academia Militar de Goa”

The Primary Section in Pre-Liberation Days It is to be noted that Goa had a strong base of primary section in pre-Liberation times. Primary education was not wide spread or mass based, though many electoral laws especially in the first part of twentieth century required the skills of reading and writing to be eligible as voter to various political bodies. Sometimes the language prescribed was Portuguese, though at other times it was not stated as such. This really did not exactly reinforce primary education, as many feudal proprietors interested in election could train residents in their property just to sign or write their own names, to fulfill the legal requirement. But over all the primary education tried to lay a solid foundation for elementary level. The same was applicable to the primary Church Choir schools which were responsible for laying strong foundations to the musical talents of Goans. Here, the teaching was confined to singing Solfejo , church chants and to play on musical instruments, violin being the favourite.

Primary Education reinforcing Portuguese Nationalism
On the eve of Liberation, Portugal attempted to strengthen its primary education especially as a means to build the myth of one Portuguese nation stretching over the Continents of Europe , Africa and Asia. For this purpose the Government concentrated on Portuguese Primary teaching community. The salaries of the Primary teachers were hiked up. The teaching material was reoriented in order to produce the desired result. It is possible to carry research on this aspect. It will be noticed that the neighbourhood of Portugal in Europe got more prominence, whereas the then neighourhoods of Goa. i.e the territories in India were ignored. Lessons were prescribed which referred to One Portuguese Nation, assimilation theory etc. Texts existed which referred to the Portuguese blood running in the students vein. Many lessons had a patriotic touch from the Portuguese angle.

With the objective of making the primary education more general, it was made compulsory for people of certain age ( more details needed, perhaps below fourteen ) to pass the first or second grau of Primary school . It was permissible to appear for these exams even in one sitting . Students enrolled in English Schools were also compelled to take these exams. They did it in parallel with their English studies. Parallel entry to the examinations or even private appearance was permitted not only to the primary level but even at the Lyceum where one had Primeiro Ciclo, Segundo Ciclo and Terceiro Ciclo . English Schools introduced one or two Portuguese periods , to train the students in the Portuguese language skills. The students would appear for the public exam of Primeiro or Segundo Grau while continuing in parallel with their English studies. The system received a lot of encouragement from the Government of the day, as it suited the policy of conscious education to serve the National purposes ( then of Portuguese Nation).

The primary education got a boost especially at the fag end of the Portuguese Period. The last Governor General Antonio Vassalo e Silva gave great importance to Primary schools. He was instrumental in inaugurating some of the new schools .

Songs with Patriotic themes With the Government policy of strengthening primary education to serve Portuguese national interest , under the banner of One Nation theory stretching across continents, patriotic songs were introduced with catchy tunes. The songs were on themes on national beauty of Portugal, on adventurism , on victories, conquests and wars , on undefeatable spirit of the Portuguese nation etc. These were introduced specially in the wake of fear of loosing the territory of Angola. Angola e Nossa ( Angola is ours ) and Aquie e Portugal ( Here is Portugal) became the slogans for the primary students.

Mocidade Portugesa reinforcing the Marshal Spirit. Mocidade Portugesa was a parallel to the present day drill period in Secondary Schools of Goa. However the spirit of the cadets and their tone was as if forming a formation to the army. The drill functioned one’s or twice a week. The cadets were organized as per the ranks . In the liberation year December 1961, a camp was held at Campal for the cadets drawn from contingents of Mocidade Portuguesa. A few cadets from Daman and Diu especially flown too participated in the camp. Mainly it was marching at the beating of the drums that rattled the marshal spirit in the youngsters.

Lyceum Here the system too reinforced especially in the 1950s the new objectives of the Portuguese nation, which were reformulated in order to counter the pressures of anti Colonialism and for Portugal to find some comfort zone in the UN, in a decolonizing world. It followed the same policies like the primary education. However though the primary education had the objective of universalizing it to the territory of Goa, this was not so at the higher level. However beside the National Lyceum Affonso de Albuquerque in Panjim, there were more such institutions in Panjim , Mapusa and Margao preparing the student for the ciclos (cycles) of Lyceum . However there appears to be no effort or even a vision to universalize it among the masses.

Marathi ShallasDuring pre-Liberation days Marathi shallas functioned in the villages, though their intake was miniscule as compared to today’s schools. The Marathi teacher who handed several classes in one small room received a pittance hardly to keep his body and soul together. It was a big difference between the Portuguese Primary teachers especially at the fag end of the Portuguese rule who received a fat packet . It does not appear that there were schools in Konkani, though writing the language in Romi script was thought at private level.

Pre- Liberation English Schools There were some English Schools in Goa during the pre liberation period , some of them imparting education till the SSC. St. Joseph Arpora started at the fag end of the last century, whereas Mater Dei began functioning from 1909 and has completed a century during this year. Some of the English schools sent their students for the SSC exam to the cities in neighboring India. Some of them used the recognized institutions existing in newly Independent India to field their candidates. English schools were patronized due to their bread and butter value of finding jobs in Neighbouring India, English speaking Africa , Middle East, on Board the Ship etc. The contribution of these schools to the Goan Society was indeed great.

The schools also provided the feeding source for Higher Education in English, as some elitist Goans opted for it. Bombay, Dharwad, Belgaum, Poona etc were the favourates spots. Many great Goans shone in the different fields from English Literature to Sciences using the English Medium. Sometimes English Education was used as parallel entry to the Portuguese courses and vice versa.

Professional Education
Even in Pre-liberation days professional education either formal or informal existed in Goa. Church, Medicine and Advocacy were the favourates among the population. The Escola Medica de Goa formally functioned from 1842 and was able to contribute a lot to the then State of India( Estado da India). Some of the doctors produced by the school left imprints in African colonies, Portugal, Brazil and even the world. Some went for further specialization in medicine to British India as well as Europe.

Advocacy was an art for which the people of Goa were famous . In a few documents the Portuguese settlers in sixteenth and seventeenth century complained to the King of Portugal that the Island of Goa resembled like a School of law. It said that the Brahmin community there knew to twist the law in their favour and turn black into white and vice versa. It is alleged that the residents instead of training themselves into warfare got involved in futile suits, which was detrimental to the Portuguese Empire. It is also claimed that in the twentieth century in the appeal cases sent to the apex Courts in Portugal , the papers sent from India were well scrutinized and studied, as the lawyers from Goa had obtained a reputation for being artful in the skill of drafting and interpretation. However, at the time of Liberation of Goa there was no formal school of law . Those interested worked under some advocate who would train them to pass an examination conducted by the Judge, and thus obtain a provisional license for advocacy . Then they could practice in certain courts within that jurisdiction. Some of the students went to Portugal to the Law Faculties of Lisbon or Coimbra for a formal law degree. Those opting for English studies went to then neighboring India for a formal LL.B. degree.

There were few technical schools in Goa, but no engineering College prior to liberation. Students had to go to Portugal or some other part of Europe or the neighboring India for engineering degrees.

Female Education Female education was not totally ignored in Goa during the Portuguese regime. But it was not wide spread, confined more to the elite and to areas considered appropriate for feminine aspirations. It was thought fit to educate females especially among the elite in manners, politeness, language, embroidery, cooking etc. Perhaps earlier convents like Santa Monica and other recluse centers had created a tradition of feminine arts. But in the twentieth century , even prior to Liberation females did begin to shine, but it was nothing in comparison to the present day level of female mass education in Goa. Prior to Liberation some females had already become accomplished doctors, nurses, teachers, journalists and literary personalities. Some obtained their degrees from Portugal or elsewhere in Europe while others procured their degrees in English speaking world. That is perhaps the reason why female education is in par with the male education today in Goa.

Education in Post Liberation Period Post-Liberation Primary Education .
During the post Liberation period there was a quantum jump in primary education in terms of quantity. The Portuguese primary schools converted themselves into English primary schools. There were also a few English Medium Schools with primary and Secondary Sections. At this stage the Archdiocese of Goa too launched itself into the educational field . The Church Choir schools got themselves converted into primary sections. In a sense music moved out of church and in came formal education at primary and secondary levels.

Post liberation – Quantum Jump in Primary Education
The first decade of post liberation period saw a quantum jump in education. The enrolment went up and educational institutions mushroomed all over the place. The Goa Archdiocese too , whether it was part of determined policy jumped into the education as a social commitment. Practically parishes came out with schools which often began within the Church premises itself but later moved to independent buildings. It is noticed that many Archdiocese schools in Goa , carry the name of the village Patron Saint.

Weak Primary Education.
Unfortunately in the post liberation period the primary schools were made to fan for themselves whereas the secondary schools received the benefit of Grant in Aid . Interestingly, Rules to grant aid to primary schools appeared in the Government Gazette of 27 September 1962 . By Government of Goa, Daman and Diu Secretariat Order the Lieutenant Governor in exercise of powers conferred on him made Rules known as Interim Grant-in-aid Code for Primary Schools for schools in Goa, Daman and Diu. Here rules were established for granting aid to the primary Schools in the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu . It is interesting to find what has happened to this Interim Grant-in – Code. From the personal observations of the writer, the primary education did not receive grants at least in 1970 whereas the Secondary Section did. Consequently a very weak foundation resulted and thus a substandard flow was sent to the Secondary Section. Some of the elitist schools were able to overcome the deficiency.

Tottering Primary : Foundation of Goan Education ?Even today the defect of tottering primary education has not been corrected fully. In 1992 the Vernacular schools received Grant in Aid. Thus schools in Konkani, Marathi Medium received grant in aid. Due to this artificial device, many schools in English Medium switched over to the vernacular language in order to assure that their bowl (Koti) was full. No sociological study was ever made but only some assumed principles of pedagogy were cited. The switch again was detrimental to the students . Private English Primaries began to operate. This particular phase needs a thorough study with empirical research substantiated with statistics. In my personal opinion, the Archdiocese too did not show enlightened pragmatic approach. The views are subject to correction on face of reliable study carried by competent educationists and sociologists.

Medium of Instruction in Goa – 2009
On the wake of a demand for grant to English primaries by at least two MLA’s, an article appeared on Herald which raises the issue of Grants to English Medium primaries. The article tilted “ Medium of Instruction in Goa: It’s about money, honey” by Minguel Braganza is interesting as it traces the plight of primary education. It is interesting to interview some of the parents and interested parties and find their views.

Post Liberation - Secondary Level After the first decade in post Liberation period, one witnessed the expansion of education. Education was available in every nook and corner of Goa. However, there was need for infrastructure and quality. This exercise was carried especially in the seventies of twentieth century . Many Secondary Schools that lacked infrastructure such as laboratory and library could add it due to the grant in aid pattern . Also the switch to 10+2 pattern from the earlier eleventh brought in compulsory practical papers and hence schools had too be equipped with laboratories . This is not to claim that all schools in Goa prior to that did not have laboratories or libraries. An examination of the building pattern of the two oldest schools in Goa i.e St. Joseph ( Arpora) and Mater Dei( Saligao) will convince one of how laboratory and library formed part of the infrastructure even prior to Liberation. Also there were some schools which had already achieved standards in pre-Liberation days. But generally speaking the seventies saw the consolidation period, especially for the newly set up schools, encouraged by the grant in aid pattern. This unfortunately did not happen in the primaries. Many primaries limped on as appendixes to the secondary section. These primaries did not have any teaching equipment except the board, chalk and a talkative teacher.

Uprooting Students from Traditional Practices
Goans have been labeled as socegado , lazy, ashamed of doing lowly jobs, with heads on air looking out for white collar job. Was this the situation prevailing in the sixties and seventies? At the time of Liberation there were farmers, fisher folks, butchers, carpenters , masons available and sufficient to meet the requirements of the villages of Goa. As pointed out by a renowned politician Fachu Loyola in pre-Liberation times, no one, surely not the landlord, tried to empower that static society which was denied mobility. He advocated empowerment of pheasants. Fachu Loyola’s analysis of blaming the landlord for the plight of pheasants may be a debatable question. In the wake of expansion of education in the seventies, there was an apparent conflict between studies and the traditional professions. Often during part of the harvesting, or early morning before school during the vegetable growing season, students could be seen in the fields. Parents brought in traditional thought, valued the attachment to land as it was supposed to give them the rice and bread. It was not easy for these parents to break from that traditional mentality developed over the years.

Top Priority to Education School Administrators and teachers who visualized empowerment through education began to give top priority to education. Parents were counseled often to permit their wards to study rather than take up traditional professions passed on from generation to generation under a strict feudal structure. It was for instance not uncommon to hear a Principal , headmaster or teacher telling their wards to refrain from their traditional profession as butchers of pigs as at the end of their life they themselves resembled that animal. Of course the language was acceptable in those days, but the message was clear implying to give a top priority to education. Thus education was pushed on the top priority bracket. A mental break was made with the traditional mentality which looked on traditional occupations as means of livelihood. This was also in keeping with the pattern of democracy and in the spirit of Indian Constitutional values. Besides the above there are several other factors why education received to priority in Goan psyche, and a change was made even at the grass root level.

Mea / Nossa Culpa?
Should the teachers of the seventies beat their breast for divorcing the Goan students from their traditional professions? Perhaps what has been achieved is of much higher value. For instance one notices mobility in the villages. Many have sought jobs abroad and are making a successful living. Perhaps a new disapora has been created. On the other side there is new visions. Some of the bright students have achieved success which they may never dreamt under the feudal setting. The fact remains however that the students once uprooted cannot be made to go back with ease. An anecdote says that a Principal in his wisdom tried to put his students in the eighties into the field work. The result was illness and health problems, with number of complaints from the parents and teachers. This point has to be borne in mind in visualizing the educational policy. Traditional agriculture appears to be out of the present curriculum, as the students may not have the capacity or ability or immunity whatever one may term to replicate their ancestors’ professions. May be horticulture, crafts, arts with different orientation may work.

Work Experience Component
In the seventies the work experience component formed part of the Secondary Education. It was meant to keep the school in touch with the society surrounding it . It had several simple components keeping the sex of the student in mind. Ideas like basic cooking, stitching , carpentry , pottery etc were envisaged. It had certain Gandhian principles too in mind. However due to various factors , work experience in the schools became in course of time more of a farce , limited often to cleaning the campus.

Vocational Education At Plus Two – A Failure in Goa? It was felt necessary to divert the students in the vocational branches at the plus two level so that they could better serve the society. It was visualized that such students would branch off and were not to be eligible for mobility in the regular Science, Arts and Commerce courses. Many secondary institutions with grants from Government plunged into Vocational Education. But when the students realized that their upward mobility for higher Degrees could not be met , they demanded an entry into the Arts, Science and Commerce streams. This facility was granted. This again proves that there is a thirst for degrees in Goa , due to several factors, and this must be fulfilled unless the Government can come with a feasible alternative. However some new Vocational courses like fashions, interior designing, cooking etc are in demand and producing some ripples today.

Visualizing Education for GoaThe following could be the pattern of visualizing Education for Goa in order of priorities.
1. Strengthening the Primaries
2. A Knowledge Village for Primary and Secondary Schools of Goa. .
3. Continuing Pattern of Affiliated Colleges under Goa University.
4. Specialized Institutes/Schools/Research Centers relevant to Goa.
5. Opening Goa for the Educational Hub.

Strengthening the PrimariesThe Primary Education in Goa due to wrong policies, language controversies etc has remained very weak or in some corners elitist/commercial, taking advantage of its weakness. It is necessary that this is corrected at the earliest possible occasion. Large sums of money must be invested by Government in the Primary Education. Looking at the fag end of the Portuguese rule, such phenomenon could be predicted if the rule had continued. If it was so in a dictatorial period, much more it is in the present democratic set up. In fact a strong primary education by Government is in a way the reason d’etre for the Liberation of Goa. Hence, Government must pour money into Primary Education, for infrastructure, for teaching faculty etc. This can serve also a model for the rest of country. Goa is a small state where experimentation can be tried.

The fact that Government primaries exist cannot be an excuse to neglect the rest of primary schools. With Government Primaries being substandard, the Government has not fulfilled its Constitutional obligation. So the existing primaries in which the students take their education have to be strengthened. The medium of instruction could be best left to the school management together with the parents. In the present day Goa, making dogmatic statements could be counter productive.

If a Educational Hub is superimposed or even permitted without strengthening the existing Primary schools , it will result in exclusion of the residents from the benefits of the Hub. No amount of mere reservation of seats can help in the empowerment of the residents. If strong educational base is laid at primary level , directly or indirectly the residents will benefit from it. Failure to strengthen primary education will be a catastrophe , which is bound to create resentment. The Hub may become a mere another commercial device not benefiting the locals.

A Knowledge Village for Empowerment of Primary and Secondary Schools of Goa. A strong Primary and Secondary Education will definitely empower students to take up higher studies more effectively and be better adjusted to job market. A suggestion made here is that setting up a Knowledge Village, Goa . For instance there is a Knowledge Village at Pune. While those are meant for Higher Education and Research , the present suggestion is for such a Knowledge Village meant to empower Primary and Secondary Schools in Goa.

Knowledge Village, Goa ( KVG )
Goa has a weak primary structure. The mother tongue language policy has resulted in flourishing private self financing schools with elitist background. Hence, there is an urgent need to look at the Primary and Secondary Education in Goa.

Strong Primary and Secondary Education – Why?
An argument for strong primary and secondary education has to be made in view of the possibility of Goa turning into an Educational Hub. There are several factors why Goa may be promoted as one of the excellent hubs in India. However this hub model could go ahead leaving the residents of Goa , excluded from the advantages of the hub. There have been several caution notes already expressed on this count. There are some voices for certain reservations, etc . But it reminds one of one old Marathi lesson “Kuradeche Bikxa” meaning the gifting of an axe to the poor. It is the story of an able bodied poor man who roamed for alms. Once a man gifted him an axe to enable him to cut wood and thus provided him his means of livelihood. So it is necessary to empower the residents of Goa, through strong primary and secondary education.

KVG Model
It should be with a large campus. It can be set up in the underdeveloped village of Goa. It is not a means of land conversion or money churning institution. It will have to depend entirely in Government Aid or contributions from residents including diaspora purely without profit motive. This is the least the Government owes to the society . It’s a Constitutional duty of the Government and the mandate for providing meaningful primary education.

KVG : An Inspecting Machinery ? The regime of inspection has been implemented in schools over the decades in the post Liberation period. Inspectors visit the schools with a superior air of finding faults with the Management and Teachers and go about the job systematically along certain predictable lines, changing with the times. A joke existed during Portuguese times , is that the inspector would ask for the colour of the leave in the flower vase that adorned the table . The expected answer in Portuguese was Verde ( green ) . Student’s failure to answer would imply that he did not know to name the colours of Portuguese flag. Though the above was a joke , there were some patterns that emerge from Inspection regime. Such system leaves a lot to be desired and often sets a negative attitude in the teachers.

Knowledge Village, Goa would defeat its purpose if it becomes an inspecting machinery. Rather it should get involved in Cooperative teaching.

KVG For Cooperative Teaching
KVG should be for cooperative Teaching. It is not a higher institution that the primary and secondary schools existing in Goa should imitate or accept dictates. Knowledge Village, Goa should be able to participate in the teaching process in the schools. It is not to set standards. It is to empower the existing institutions to achieve standards.

For KVG : All Institutions To Be Equal
KVG is meant to empower all the existing primary and secondary schools. It is not to reinforce and strengthen only the elitist schools. As far as the Knowledge Village is concerned all schools in Goa should be in the same footing. In fact more attention can be given to weaker schools to bring them in par with the others.

KVG :To provide Infrastructure KVG should have special facilities and infrastructure which can be used by the primary and secondary schools in Goa. Whenever teachers, students or schools need some advice or need a particular facility , then it should be made available to them through the Knowledge Village.

KVG : A Model School ?
Goa knowledge Village is not a model school, neither a campus for setting up model best schools from all over the globe. Sometimes such institutions do not achieve the objective. For instance many Law Schools meant to serve as models for other Law Colleges have not achieved that objective or if they did it to a very small extent.

Working for Empowering existing Primary and Secondary Schools
KVG should work with the existing Primary and Secondary Schools. It should be an organization to provide Empowerment to all the existing Primary and Secondary Schools of Goa. It has to have its feet in the ground. It has to know exactly the status of primary and secondary education in Goa , its forte and its ills, how it can be best be improved. The test of the KVG is in the Empowerment of Primary and Secondary Education in Goa.

Data Collection Centre for Experimentation
Many teachers in Goa carry innovative experiments while teaching their curricula. Such teachers are not merely found at the top Secondary level, but in fact at all levels of teaching. They are not confined to the subjects of Science and English , but in all branches including vernacular languages, physical education, arts and craft etc. In course of time this innovative spirit dims as they receive no encouragement and find their innovative methods stifled in the system that encourages mediocrity. Hence it is necessary to give expression to these innovations, collect them, and protect them for the future.

Collection Point for Projects Nowadays schools as part of curriculum carry out many projects. Schools should be encouraged to send their projects to the KVG.

My Village Project
Each and every school in Goa should be encouraged to carry a project on their village. The students could roam around the village capturing on digital camera different aspects of the village beauty, village life, customs, markets, churches, chapels, temples , folk culture etc. They could download the digital pictures on their computer and turn it into an LCD presentation. These could be captured in a CD or DVD. Thus if the schools in Goa are encouraged to involve themselves in such projects , it will provide a rich first hand experience to the students. In this connection Ismilda Research Consultancy ( ) will shortly publish “Empowering Goa: A Manual of Projects for Schools and Colleges”.

Continuing With Pattern of Affiliated Colleges
Soon after Liberation , SSC Board , Pune conducted the public exams for the schools of Goa, and the colleges were affiliated to Bombay University. With the setting up of Goa Board the public exams for Goa are conducted by the Goa Board. Colleges are affiliated to Goa University. Goa University though it has teaching faculties at the Post Graduate level generally within its campus, also caters to the affiliated colleges. This is due to the fact that a large number of students desire higher courses. This is due to several factors , historical , social , cultural etc. It will not be fair to deny students upward mobility till alternatives evolve within the society itself. For the present it is necessary to maintain the present system. So to convert a University with affiliated colleges into merely teaching University and leaving the undergraduate institutions orphaned would be disastrous. Even if it decided to have an excellent Central University, the present set up must be kept and a case may be made for two Universities.

Specialized Institutes/Schools/Research Centers Relevant to Goa.Specialized Institutes/Schools/Research Centers Relevant to Goa .may be promoted. These have to be set up due to their relevancy to the historical ties of Goa, or due to availability of resources, documents etc. Such courses will also project the image of Goa. Below are some suggestions. However it may be noted that the present writer is familiar with law and so might have missed other branches of study.

Civil Law Institute/ Studies There is a need for an institute that will provide teaching and research facilities on comparative studies on Civil Law and Common Law from all India point of view . As India is looking to be world economic power in the near future, it will be necessary that it imbibes the Civil Law Culture too. Pockets like Pondichery , Goa are apt places to set up such an Institute. Goa has experienced the Civil Law System before Liberation, passed through a transition phase and achieved full stature in Common Law Jurisprudence. The judges, officials, and lawyers are still there who have rich experience in both the systems. It is necessary to compile their experiences. Besides there are laws and notifications published in Government Gazette in the transition period which can be rich source of resource. The Institute can also be linked with the Portuguese Language course in order to benefit from historical documents in that language.

Hindu Law Institute/ Studies Skeletal portion of the Hindu Legal System prevails today in India . However certain glimpses can be obtained from works of English and Indian legal writers. However there are a number of Portuguese documents that refer to the Hindu Customary Legal System. It is necessary to tap these resources at least for the sake of History. These Portuguese documents have to be translated, then analyzed in the light of other sources of Hindu Law. Hence Goa can be an important point to set up such an Institute or Study Centre.

Maritime Studies Goa has the advantage of Oceanography Centre at Dona Paula. Maritime studies is also in keeping with the traditions set up by the Portuguese in their adventures over the Indian Ocean. Such centre could also incorporate courses in the study of Portuguese seventeenth century documentation. Also the Portuguese efforts to capture the Indian Ocean in their favours and that debate with Hugo Grotius, the Father of Modern International Law are interesting. Such courses could be incorporated in the Maritime Studies Institute. Goa possessed once a Ship Building Yard, and large Caravelas for sea borne journeys were built at Goa. This component too could be considered as a teaching course cum research.

Institute for Portuguese DocumentationGoa possesses a wealth of Portuguese Documentation. It is necessary that Goa develops capacity building in students to use these resources. They will also be of interest to International students. Hence, it is necessary that Goa has translators, researchers etc who will use this documentation. Hence special courses may have to be planned for this purpose.

Study & Research for Mundo Portuges It is possible to have a centre for Mundo Portuges Studies. The State of India ( Estado da India) had links with Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Macao, Timor, S. Tome and Principe, Guinea, Madeira, Azores, etc. There is lot of documentation too on these places. It is necessary to reestablish this research link. This could be best done by offering courses suitably designed and as a part of memorandums signed with different universities.

Goan Literature & Culture Institutes A special course can be devised on literature produced on Goa related topics , be it in English, Portuguese, Konkani, Marathi etc. Similarly one may offer courses on art and culture related to Goa.

Opening Goa for Hub.Issues:
• Will Education Hub benefit Goa?
• Will it drain its resources without benefit to the residents?
• Can Education Hub be saved so that Goa benefits from it?

Introduction The danger of Planning a Hub for Goa is that it may be an open invitation to vested interest to grab land for purposes other than Education. However, assuming that these are taken care and the Fly By Night Promoters of Education are kept at bay, yet Goa may became an advanced centre of Education but which may not benefit the present residents of Goa. Then what is the solution?

At the Seminar held in October there were various suggestions such as reservations etc in order to make the process inclusive rather than exclusive one. It is to be noted that the standards of education set by Hub will definitely trickle down to the existing schools and colleges of Goa. But the process may be slow and there could be also a back lash, if the residents are felt left out. A hub will definitely create and widen inequalities which may cause frustration and anger.

Goa has scanty resources in terms of land. So the Hub comes at the expenses of land , whether acquired , paid, etc. The land definitely will move out of the hands of the residents. But can such a process be stopped, especially in the globalizing world? Without a Hub too the pressure on land will continue and may be difficult to maintain the land in favour of residents of the place.

Perhaps a compromise could be to Save the Hub, after taking good care of the interests of the residents. For this the population needs to be empowered so that they can too take advantages of the hub. One of the suggestions made above was the pouring of large sums into the Primary Education. The other was the setting up of Knowledge Village, Goa for strengthening the Primary and Secondary Education. The third is setting up under the present system of Goa University many special parallel courses such as Portuguese Documentation, Language Courses , Civil Law Studies, Maritime courses which will enable the residents of Goa to take advantage of the Hub Culture. Courses to be devised so that the residents of Goa can be part of the raw material for the Educational Hub.

Conclusion - Goa opening the doors to a Hub may be the need of the future. If other steps are taken like: (1) strengthening the Primaries, (2) Setting Knowledge Village, Goa ,(3) Setting Specialized Institutes/Schools/Research Centers Relevant to Goa, then Educational Hub may be beneficial to Goa. Even if Hub Culture only survives for the future , the residents will presumably benefit from it. One can plan for the future, but it is difficult to predict the exact nature specially in the globalizing world.

Grant for Primaries- All existing Primary schools must receive large grant-in-aid from Government. The medium of instructions should be left to parents, teachers, management of the school. All sort of preconceived ideas built in the past should be given a go bye. The grant should cover equipment / infrastructure development too which the Primary Schools have missed.
Peaceful Living at Primary – It is necessary to build in the young children the spirit of peaceful living. This could be done through songs , lessons, etc prescribed to the students. This is in keeping with the traditional values of India . It is also part of its National Anthem. India has not selected a marshal tune for its National Anthem. Thus the ideals of peaceful living for a better world can be imbibed in the youth at the primary level. However religious and other bigotries should be kept out.
Huge Assistance from Government to All the Existing Primaries – It is necessary that Government puts large fund for the primary education to remedy the past mistakes, in any language that has a reasonable demand.
Setting up Knowledge Village Goa – Government must set up a huge complex called Knowledge Village, Goa for empowerment of Primary and Secondary Schools.
Parallel Entries – There is a need to provide facilities for parallel entries to education so that students can select courses and are not forced to go up in a particular mould. This is so specially at higher levels.
Short Language Courses – Short language courses have to be devised by University and Institutes , into which students can take admission while being engaged in other courses to provide multi lingual skills to the residents of Goa.
Peace Studies - The world needs to promote peace studies in this gloabalised age. Higher courses cum research centers for such studies could be set in Goa. Goa due to several historical and other factors has a conducive environment for such studies.
Internal Discipline – Goa has to concentrate in building internal discipline in the students through values as well as some yoga and meditative practices. The discipline that comes through the rattling of the drum, regimentation, march past etc. may not be the solution for the coming age. In the past especially during the fag end of the Portuguese period and early post liberation , schools did opt for drills and march pasts. For instance the writer recollects the impressive march pasts over the slopes of St. Lawrence High School at the beat of the drum. Such regimentation may not suit present day standards of a democratic society. But it does not mean that discipline should be thrown out of the windows of primary and secondary schools. So value based discipline with healthy meditative practices may be the key to success.
Spirit of Empowerment- It is noticed that the present day children are showing confidence and spirit of empowerment through their behavioral patterns. It may be necessary to promote this with due consultation with the educationist and Psychologist.
Educational Councilors- Fortunately Goa is recruiting today Educational Councilors in the schools. There will be a need to strengthen this process in the near future at primary and secondary level and specially if the Educational Hub finds room in Goa.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Fr. Nicolau Pereira.

By Carmo D’Souza

“Carmo”, he would call me dragging my name a little, with a heavy Portuguese accent. It was known in the college that he knew by name, each and every individual that passed the Xavier’s portals. That was his working strategy as Principal of the college.

He was nicknamed as “Pop”. That itself spoke volumes. He had a fatherly attitude towards the students, and was kind and considerate to all. Whatever be the occasion, he always carried a benign smile on his round face. Meet him in Panjim , and after a few inquiries ,he was sure to offer a lift. Fortunately, his Standard car like a tortoise , just managed to climb the Xavier hill.

Fr. Pereira together with his team of staff members glued the Xavieriete spirit. Truly the students were proud of the label of Xavierites from Mapusa. It is to Fr Pereira’s credit, that throughout his tenure , the college flag fluttered higher and higher.

With a doctorate in Physical chemistry from USA, he was known to help the bright Chemistry students in pursuing their higher studies. That was the reputation in the college. Physical Chemistry was a specialty in Xaviers. And now and then somebody left for America, and then returned to recount his stories.

In spite of his Chemistry forte, Fr. Pereira was an all rounder. He enjoyed for instance writing short stories in Konkani on the college magazine. Innovation, creative was his hallmark. He encouraged others to pursue such activities along with their jobs. When I met him occasionally, he would give a short advice on teaching and question me on my writing skills. “ Write more”, would be his parting advice, as he tried to get me focused on my jumbled goals.

He was an educationists par excellence .I remembered when he once remarked that examination connected work with Board and University was a hallmark of a teacher. He believed in attendance in college as it leads to interactive learning between the students themselves. When I once spoke in favor of correspondence courses for employed students, he remarked that there should be interactive courses in the University, which would permit the working students to complete their studies at their own leisure.

Fr. Pereira was a gentleman to the core, with a high degree of sportsman spirit. I still remember that football game at Campal, in which Xaviers were locked with their traditional Panjim rivals. Suddenly tempers flayed, and the crowd invaded the ground. Fr. Pereira suddenly appeared on the scene and in his white cassock sauntered around the field, persuading the players to take their position. Victory did not matter to him. The game had to be played in the best of the spirits. Xaviers lost a game, but had kept high the gamesmanship tradition.

“You have won the race, take your crown “, says the Good Lord as Fr. Pereira touches the finishing line. I am sure every Xavierite, stands up and applauds in appreciation for the glorious victory. In Fr, Pereia , Goa has lost one of its eminent educationists of the second half of twentieth century.

First written on death of Fr. Nicolau Pereira

Thursday, May 8, 2008

World Order

Indian Premier League – Blasting National Boundaries.
By Carmo D’Souza

Indian Premier League (IPL), well Bollywood personalities, cricket professionals, Indian industrialists and celebrities. A mix up of cricket professionalism, iconic players, media expertise, ball to ball updates, rules of game, cash, sponsors , price bids and cheer groups. Eight great teams with unique selection of names in a format called Twenty 20 , with stages called Round Robin and Knockout, are struggling on the cricket field for 45 days, involving huge money, television rights , franchises and what not, with the cheer girls dancing on the ring of controversy. It all makes news and news sells. Interesting to watch how the IPL has captured the hearts and minds of cricket lovers.

One of the important pointer is that IPL has blasted knowingly or unconsciously the national boundaries. There is a flurry of beautiful strokes that flow all over the field and flow beyond the boundaries. It may be symbolic, but the fact remains that the National Sovereignty as postulated by great legal scholar Austin has really been put to test. And the silliness of that Austinian theory is day by day demonstrated on the IPL cricket fields. Great Austin challenged in a game dear to the British.

Modern scholars like C. K. Allen have questioned Austin’s claim to National Sovereignty- a part of British Heritage. British are feudal in nature unlike the Roman Imperator. Had Austin overlooked long course of English history and based his theory of a short run of English sovereignty of his days? Whatever the answer , Austin hoisted National Sovereignty so high in his Imperative Theory, that it enabled Britain to build an Empire. Or was it the other way round? Whichever way, the fact is that National Sovereignty became a brand name , pursued by each and every country in the twentieth century. However the fag end of the century showed the dilution of this solid walls , as environment sent its warnings, and the human rights echoed from one corner to the other with the shrinking world .

It is interesting to analyze IPL under this background. The names of the eight teams in one side seemed to uphold royalty and sovereignty and the ideals dear to the patriarchs of monarchy. As Shakespeare has said that a rose by any other name smell as sweet, perhaps the names in IPL , do not stand for the old monarchial culture. We have Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Bangalore Royal Challengers ( though the royal may have a different connotation ), Kings XI Punjab. One additional team has the royal trapping in the form of Kolkata Knight Riders. That leaves only three other teams which cannot be bracketed in Royal Brand , that is Mumbai Indians , Delhi Dare Devils and Deccan Charges. But chargers too have been associated with mighty kings and the Devils too have their own kingdom, in the other world..

Then where are the brushes of Internationalism in IPL Cricket? Could any Pakistani cricketer inspite of his cricketing prowess get applause in Indian soil if not perhaps in Hyderabad of old. In IPL today , Pakistanis are head and shoulder with their India counterparts, cheered by the crowd. Country loyalty has shed place to club loyalty. And there are the cheer girls to lay the foundation for their teams support.

The Bhaji incident is another pointer to that direction. Calling man a monkey cannot be tolerated either by men or monkeys. Though we Indians are sometimes in habit of calling our tiny tots affectionately ‘monkeys’. And the Indian Nations solidly stood as one including the mass media , that we did not do it. There was simply no room for apology. It is not to infer here that the incident happened. The reaction of the nation was spontaneous as revealed by various letters to the press. However the new Bhaji incident , has brought a lot of doubting Thomas to the front. Are national boundaries crumbling down?

It is too early to expect a new world order from the IPL. Surely, it may not be enviable too. Where money, bids and loyalties are to be bargained on auction or evaluated in terms of dollars, or built by cheer leaders. But the IPL surely has made us conscious of our traditional way of thinking which is undergoing a radical and rapid change. May be IPL is a stepping stone, were more systematic, conscious and dedicated efforts in building world order will emerge. After all , India had great ancient saints like Budha, Mahavira and others . It produced modern leaders in that direction like Gandhi, Nehru and others. Presently there is a group of Montessori schools in Luckknow with around thirty thousand students that are working towards it. I am not to sure whether they are good at cricket too.

Viva India. Viva IPL.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Goan Nostalgia

Akeru’s Casas de Goa
Carmo D’Souza ,

Majestic houses standing amidst desolate vegetation. Large spacious verandahs. Flight of steps. Impressive balconies , where once political future were discussed or designed. Also small tavernas where the village folk would have their gulp of “cutt”. Ghostly chandeliers peeping through the main door or making their appearance felt through windows . Well that is Akeru’s Casa de Goa.

I had been on a casual visit to Kala Academy when I seemed to strike a treasure. In one of the rooms there was a painting display of Casas de Goa. As Ismilda Research Consultancy ( ) is involved in motivating Research on Goa, I considered the discovery of the silent show, a rich haul, a wealth for research. The exhibition tempted me to visit the place a second time for reinforcement of ideas. I took of some minutes for a small chart with the painter and discovered that she had imbibed the spirit of the Goan houses. And her unique experience had enabled her to put the real Goa on canvas , with her Japanese instinct of art and painting.

During the next half an hour, I was carried through the different shades of Goa. I visited a double storied house with excellent supporting pillars, which had the additional duty of adding grace and grandeur to the building. The pillars gave a royal front look, as in a cat walk demonstration . As if houses can walk. But I saw that elegance in the house , perhaps reflecting those dainty ladies and damsels of yore , who inhabited it. The pillars were tenderly embraced by designs of green creepers. The next house that I visited had two impressive flights of steps to enter inside. I am not too sure whether a choice was available in those days or there were precise rules of etiquettes of entrance and exit to the old ‘Solar’.

Somewhere I found a small little house “Martins Corner’ inviting for a tasty Goan meal of fish curry rice. The canvas spoke of it all, though the sensory art of adding perfume to canvas is yet to be developed. At other place I came across a small taverna licenciada that seemed to be taken out of Goa of the 1960s. But surprisingly it advertised the Kingfisher beer brand.

My attention was drawn to a huge mansion with large verandah , all round , and capping it all with a very high roof to cover its balcony. In my imagination, the balcony seemed to be wearing a bishop’s miter . I presumed the intellectual capacity of the inmates who must have discussed the latest political news sitting in that verandah. I could imagine them hotly debating political issues, drafting a resolution calling the attention of central Government in Lisbon and telegraphically dispatching to the authorities at Terreiro do Paco in Portugal. That was the first half of twentieth century politics in Goa. A few heads sitting on that verandah could claim to represent the “Povo de Goa” and attempting to sway the Central authorizes even against the local powers that be.

The painter has seen to details. That’s Akeru’s style. Thorough the main door of an elegant mansion one could see the huge chandelier hanging at the entrance. Or it may be a dog faithfully at his duty , behind the door. The artist has brought the elegance of some of the antique houses that seem to be standing on stilts. No in fact, the houses are built over a high pedestal foundation in the front to keep perhaps with the level with its rear portion. And I noticed a house double storied , eight windows to be precise up and down. It was fully equipped for any occasion, in days where halls or celebration venues were hardly available on hire.

How can one go through Goa without Fish land. That is a small antique very tiny house , a utility residence of old which has its own magic. Today it serves as a small food joint. Akeru’s brush captures the spirit of the past together with the new brand of small eating joints to cater to the tourist and the Diaspora Goans.

The artist has captured each house as per its mood. Sometimes the windows of the spacious houses are closed as if hiding secrets and wealth from the outsiders. At other places the windows are wide open, inviting the stranger to walk into the spacious halls. And there are crumbling houses too with their outstanding windows of oyster shells ( corpan). That’s the unique Goan art that has not escaped Akeru.

A day with Akeru’s painting can be an experience in art, culture, history and environment that makes Goans proud of their all round heritage.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Goan Nostalgia

The Art of Gusppounk

By Carmo D’Souza

Konkani is a rich language which uses words with a variety of calours. People while talking, use the language artistically as they would do a welcoming Rangoli in front of their houses. One such word is guspounk which means to meander aimlessly, or to be in a confused state or … Of course the primary postulate is that Konkani words cannot be exhaustive - postulate as rule need no proof.

Well Gusponk is a art either carefully cultivated or formed unconsciously. Imagine Maria who has the habit of preparing herself for any schedule well before time. As her husband goes for his suit and boot, she is ready at the doorstep. But at the time of leaving her home, she meanders aimlessly seeking for trinkets. It may be a broche , a house or car keys or a purse. The hunt goes well beyond the scheduled time . In this sense Gusponk is an unconscious habit formed perhaps from childhood environment.

I had a professor friend who had a fancy of being photograph. He had made a prize collection of valuable clicks with all the possible celebrities of Goa. He had successfully cultivated the art of Gusponk. For any occasion he was the uninvited guest. He used to roam confidently around the whole place as if he was the host. When the photographer was about to click the chief guest , my friend would appear on the scene . Next day my friend’s face was blown over the newspapers of Goa along with the chief guest. He had combined the art of gusponk with that of gussonk

There are also confused Goans , who have a tendency to fall by tripping on their own legs. “ Tejeache pavank guspollo” Perhaps it is this habit that has kept many Goans from being achievers. They do need a reorientation exercise.

Gusponk in all its senses is prevalent amidst the whole Goan community. Perhaps our politicians too have either cultivated it to a finer extent.. They have the tendency to tie Goa’s problems in a complex knot , just like thread has the tendency to gusponk.

I intend to make a longer article…..But Sorry . Guspollo.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Goan Nostalgia


Some Areas of Research
In order to motivate scholars to undertake research in Goa, we list here some interesting areas available.

Legal Research
Family Laws of Goa - The family laws of Goa are based on the Portuguese laws which were not repealed after the Liberation of Goa. They are of historical interest on one side as well as practical value as they can be useful for India, in case it wants to enact a model Family Law.

For an effective research, the scholar should be able to comprehend Portuguese as well as English, and must have an idea of the Civil Law System as well as Continental Law System. If the researcher decides to carry a project, he will have to collect data by finding the present position of Family Law through interviews. Interviews can be carried with officials, lawyers, judges, public prosecutors and litigants. The de facto position of law is very interesting, as it is a blending of law envisaged for the Continental System and worked in a Common Law System.

Hindu Law from Portuguese Records -There are various Portuguese records available in Goa which touch on the various aspects of Hindu Law, then prevailing in Goa. In particular, there is the enacted Code for the Hindus of 1853 and 1880. These records, if properly used, can be very useful in complementing the present knowledge of Hindu Legal System as it existed in India.
The scholar has to have sound backgrounds of the principles and concepts of Hindu Law as well as a good command of Portuguese and English.

Transition from Civil Law to Common Law System - Goa experienced Civil Law System during the Portuguese regime and had to switch to Common Law System in the post- Liberation period. Hence the transition carries a valuable experience, which can give better insights into the dynamics of the two systems. In Goa, we still possess judges and lawyers who have worked in both systems and their information may be valuable for any comparative study. The oral experience is surely bound to be lost in a short time.

A research scholar in this field must have adequate knowledge of the two systems and the differences between them. It is an advantage if the scholar knows Portuguese as well as English, in order to read the material during the transition period. The documentary study can be supplemented with the help of interviews of lawyers, judges and litigants, who have experience in both systems.

Such a study can be very useful today as the two systems are coming closer in view of globalization.

Human Rights and Goa – It is possible to study of dynamic evolution of Human Rights in Goa from the sixteenth century to the present day. There is sufficient documentary and other literature available on the subject. It is also possible to conduct field research on the present day problems and issues concerning Human Rights in the society in Goa. There are quite a number of NGOs working on various dimensions of Human Rights in Goa which can also figure in the study.

Legal History of Goa (1961-2005) - This is an interesting but rather vast topic calling for an arduous work. Plenty of information is available in the various Government Bulletins published regularly, which can be supported too by other primary and secondary sources.

The project requires the scholar to go through Bulletins published in Goa during the post liberation period.

Goa Legislative Assembly –It is interesting to conduct a research on the Goa Legislative Assembly. The researcher can look into the documentary part as well as in the dynamics of the institution. The records are easily available, due to computerization and the fact that the Assembly is developing an excellent library. The researcher can use various socio-metric techniques to evaluate the various functions of the Assembly.

Defections and Defection Law – This is an interesting area by which the defections and defection law and its impact can be studied with respect to cases from Goa.

Other Research Areas on Goa
Goa – Myths and Mythology
There are mythological legends about Goa such as Parashuram’s reclamation of Goa from the sea, Parashuram’s Ashvamedha sacrifice at Harmal, Lord Shiva’s association with Cortalim, Lord Krishna’s sojourn at Dhudsagar, association of Pandavas with Margao and so on. All these stories need to be retold in the original version.

Pre-Liberation Portuguese Literature
In pre-liberation days many writers and poets in Goa wrote in Portuguese language with the facility of a mother tongue. However in their expressions, descriptions etc, they have left consciously or unconsciously a lot of local touch. For instance poets like Nascimento Mendonca, Adeodato Barreto have used a lot of Indian imagery in their poems. This can be an excellent project for any research scholar, who is well versed in Portuguese language and acquainted with the Indian culture.

Goan Literature
Goan Literature in English, Portuguese , Konkani or Marathi etc. is a rich source for research.