Charity to Seek Permission for First Hindu School in the UK

December 21, 2006 at 8:57 am Leave a comment

Dec 20, LONDON, ENGLAND (TIMES OF INDIA) — The first state-aided Hindu School in the UK is expected to be opened in September 2008 after the application for planning permission to build the 20-million pounds institute at Harrow is made next month, its promoters said on Tuesday.

“In January, we will be applying for the planning permission and it will take a few months for the Local Council to take it up for consideration,” Nitesh Gor, Director of I-foundation, a charity organisation which is the promoter of the school, told.

He said an expert team of educationists were currently looking at various aspects including incorporating “Hindu ethics and values” in the prescribed national curriculum that will be taught at the school.

“Initially we will have the nursery and the first year and subsequently we will be adding a class every year with 30 students,” Gor said.

He said the British government has promised to provide 85 per cent of the grants for the school and the remaining 15 per cent would be raised by the foundation through donations.

Gor said they aimed to give Hindu parents a choice of school consistent with their faith. At present, voluntary aided schools exist for every other major religion in the UK and it is right that the Hindu community is not denied this option in the education of their children, he added.

Harrow has the highest Hindu population in England and Wales, estimated to be around 40,000.

Allaying fears expressed by certain residents in the vicinity of the proposed school to be situated on the William Ellis Sports Ground on Camrose Avenue in Edgware, Gor said the school would have a strong environment aspect including teaching outdoors, in accordance with traditional Hindu ways.

“The requirements will meet the norms of the department of education and skills,” he said.

Gor said the I-Foundation is an independent charity and will be advised on the faith aspects of the school by a range of Hindu and non-Hindu groups including Chinmaya Group, Swaminarayan Temple, ISKCON, Church of England and Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Ultimately, its independent board of governors will take decisions. Teachers for the school would be recruited from within the Hindu community in Britain.

As a charity, I-Foundation aim to establish sustainable projects that further the achievement of Vedic culture and philosophy.

The Krishna Avanti Primary School proposed to be UK’s first Hindu faith-based voluntary aided school. It will be established as a mixed primary school with attached nursery.

The new school will become a full and active member of Harrow’s community, involving itself in inter-school activities. It will do community work with local residents and children of all faiths and cultural background, Gor said.

It has now released a Register of Interest for parents of prospective pupils. The proposed school is being set up by I-Foundation in affiliation with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

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