Hinduism and Sikhism centered schools are among the 24 pioneering state-funded “Free Schools” opening in United Kingdom (UK) in September.
Krishna-Avanti Primary School in Leicester City will function in an “environment centred on loving service to Lord Krishna” and its vision includes: “Nurturing character and conduct consistent with Hindu virtues”, “a balanced vegetarian diet and opportunities to practice yoga, meditation”, etc. Christopher Spall is the Head Teacher.
Maharishi School in Lancashire, focusing on “Consciousness-based Education”, will include daily practice of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation. Dr. Derek Cassells is Head Teacher.
Nishkam Primary School in Birmingham will take “Inspiration from the Sikh Ethos” and “will be driven and sustained by the principle of being Nishkam (selfless)”. Its website says: “For Sikhs, the ideal education not only prepares for work and life in society, but supports spiritual growth” and “Whilst always remembering the Creator, we are to work hard and share with others (nam japo, kirat karo, vand ke chhako).” Dr. Elspeth Insch is Head Teacher.
Meanwhile, Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commended the efforts of these upcoming schools to pass on Indian spirituality, values, concepts and traditions to the next generations.
Rajan Zed, who is Chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, pointed out that it was a tough task amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and attempts of these schools should be highly applauded.
According to UK Department of Education, “Free Schools are non-profit making, independent, state-funded schools.” Free schools are said to be inspired by the charter schools of USA and the Free School project of Sweden. Michael Gove is UK Secretary of State for Education.