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|SVN shines like a beacon, with no extra lessons|
|Monday, 27 August 2012 21:12|
THE recent letter by Swami Aksharanand, the Principal of the Saraswat Vidya Niketan (SVN) school, relating to the school’s recent CXC results, is one of the most important educational statements carried in the media in recent years.
It is the kind of statement one would have expected the educationists of Guyana to have widely discussed.
The Swami restated and proved by the performance of the Saraswati Vidya Niketan school a number of truths about Guyanese and Caribbean education of which the educationists seem to be losing sight.
First Truth: Extra lessons outside of school hours is a terrible blotch on the present-day school system. Extra lessons deprive children of their childhood in that they are unable to socialise or play games and this stultifies their development. And extra lessons are a terrible oppression on parents’ money and resources. The old and great Queen’s College which produced boys who were brilliant and contributed to society all over the world never had extra lessons. Ask Generals Joe Singh and Granger, Sir Shridath Ramphal, Dr Sam Hinds, Dr Luncheon, Adam Harris, Dr Roopnarine and others. Recently, Chief Education Officer Olata Sam emphatically spoke out against extra lessons and the expected support from the education community was nil. Now, the Saraswati Vidya Niketan has spoken – no extra lessons, with passes of 90 per cent to 100 per cent and children with high grades. The Ministry of Education and serious educationists need to closely study the example of SVN.
Second Truth: A child need not be a star at the Common Entrance exam to do well in his or her further education. Children with mediocre Common Entrance grades have done very well at Saraswati Vidya Niketan. SVN has shown by its performance that there is something wrong with mechanically dumping people’s children into the less endowed schools on the basis of mediocre Common Entrance marks. The Common Entrance system of streaming people’s children into poor schools needs to be urgently examined. It is causing much human wastage, wasted talent and parental heartaches.
Third Truth: Mathematics and English results at CXC have been poor in Guyana and throughout the Caribbean in contrast to Saraswati Vidya Niketan, where 90 per cent of the children have passed comfortably in these two subjects. A ding-dong row has erupted between Caribbean governments and the CXC administration; but Saraswati Vidya Niketan(SVN) has shown that you can’t blame the CXC administration. The Guyana Ministry of Education and even other Caribbean Ministries of Education should study SVN and consult with Swami Aksharanand about recapturing higher pass rates and grades in Mathematics and English.
Fourth Truth: A child need not come from a rich family or live in a city with all its amenities to do well. Saraswati Vidya Niketan has conclusively shown that children from poor homes living in the countryside, without many of the city-amenities, could do as well as any.
Fifth Truth: The secondary schools need to recapture the old discipline and moral standards, since high academic standards relate to these. Saraswati Vidya Niketan has shown that by enforcing strict school discipline and good manners, children become better scholars and are sought after by employers. One bank manager has openly declared that he employs SVN graduates because they know how to treat customers and to help those who are infirm or aged or cannot read or write very well. (The name of the school indicates its moral discipline: Saraswati represents that aspect of God which is devoted to intellectual development and Education, Vidya means ‘Knowledge of’ and Niketan means ‘institution’. Christian church schools in former days all bore names indicative of the moral disciplines).
In the interest of Guyana’s children, I would respectfully suggest to the Ministry of Education and other interested educationists to treat Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN) as a pilot school in the drive to raise the standards of education of Guyana’s children
|Last Updated on Monday, 27 August 2012 21:13|
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