UK's first state-funded Hindu school to open in 2008
By Prasun Sonwalkar,
Attorneys for Hindu leader Gauri Dasa, who had taken objection to certain remarks in our earlier story, have advised those subscribers who used the earlier story to use this one too.)
London, Dec 12 (IANS) Plans to set up Britain's first state-funded Hindu faith school are at an advanced stage and prominent Hindu leaders believe that it will inspire future generations to learn about the ancient religion.
Gauri Dasa, president of Bhaktivedanta Manor, the largest ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple in the UK, told IANS: "I remain confident that the Krishna-Avanti primary school will be a beacon to the community, a centre for cross communal learning and an inspiration to the next generation to learn about their faith and culture."
The Department of Education and Skills had announced the Hindu faith school in November 2005 and had earmarked 10 million pounds for the project. The Hindu faith school is to be set up in the London borough of Harrow, which has a 20 percent Hindu population.
The school, to be set up by an independent Hindu charity organisation called the I-Foundation, will be called the Krishna Avanti Primary School and is expected to open in 2008.
The charity will be advised on the faith aspects of the school by a range of Hindu and non-Hindu organisations, including the Chinmaya Group, Swaminarayan, ISKCON, the Church of England and Board of Deputies of British Jews, although ultimately decisions will be taken by its own independent board of governors.
Dasa, president of the ISCKON temples in Watford, has considerable experience of education in India, where he served as the director of the Vrindavana Gurukul Asram. He was responsible for stamping out a culture of abuse and transforming the school into an invaluable educational resource.
After setting up the school in 1991, Dasa established its first child protection scheme in 1992. He restricted and then abolished the use of corporal punishment. He also helped set up a Kidscape programme to encourage children to identify and protect themselves from abuse.
Since joining the Bhaktivedanta Manor in 2001 in Watford, he has overseen the renovation of its school and introduced numerous schemes to support and encourage the involvement of children in the temple, in the process helping to build one of the largest and most successful Hindu temples outside India. He is widely respected for his work across the Hindu community.