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Saraswati Vidya Niketan -A Hindu school in West Indies

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Guyana is a country in the Latin America, neighbored by Suriname and Venezuela. Culturally it is more close to the Caribbean countries.

Heard of a Hindu school outside India? Guyana has one.

As per Dr. Kumar Mahabir, a noted faculty at University of Trinidad and Tobago, Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN) is a private school in Guyana that has created a history of sort. A Hindu school, it was founded and headed by Swami Aksharananda (original name: Dr. Odai Pal Singh, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA).
Dr Mahabir adds that the school has been producing students who have been excelling with 19 and 20 CSEC (CXC) passes [equivalent to London GCE and Cambridge O’Level] with distinctions. SVN’s Curriculum includes 15 subjects prepared for at the CSEC (CXC) Examinations delivered by highly-qualified and devoted teachers. Generally, students do poorly in Mathematics and English in CSEC in the Caribbean. However, 
at SVN school, 90 per cent of the students have passed these two subjects. 

Here are more facts about Guyana’s Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN) school. Much of the info has been aggregated from school’s website.

  1. It is a Hindu Secondary School opened in 2002. Bhumi Puja (Sod Turning)for the construction work was performed on the auspicious occasion of Krishna Janamasthmi Day 1998 and the classes officially commenced from, World Teacher’s Day ,5th September 2002 with an enrollment of 35 students.

2. SVN’s Curriculum includes 3 courses addressing Hindu culture: Vedic      studies,Bharatnatyam Dance and Kathak Dance.

3. The School motto is: Speak the truth. Practice righteousness. Do not neglect studying and teaching.

(From the  Vedas – Satyam vada dharmam cara svadhyaya pravacanabhyam na pramaditavyam).

4. The school’s facilities include the 40-seat Zara Computer Laboratory, with printing and photocopy facilities, a Library (currently being refurbished), and there are plans to build a Science Laboratory. There are 19 staff members and the enrollment in 2011-2012 academic year was 312 students:  120 males, 192 females.

Most of the students come from the West Bank Demerara (WBD) and West Coast Demerara (WCD)and few of them are from the East Bank Demerara (EBD) and Georgetown.

5. According to the website, the teaching philosophy of SVN: All knowledge is already inherent in the individual soul. Real learning, with the student as the focus, consists of actualizing the potentiality latent in the student. With this in mind SVN has embarked on a philosophy of education that is concerned with the overall development and transformation of the student. While academic brilliance is encouraged we also foster the eternal and universal human values of compassion, fearlessness, truth, forgiveness, and non-injury.

6. The school was envisioned by Swami Aksharananda of Guyana who is of the view that the country’s education system, a legacy of our colonial past, is severely limited in that while it emphasizes Western and Judeo-Christian values, it de-emphasizes the role of the traditional Indian culture inherited by the Indian child. We believe that because we live in a society characterized by cultural and religious diversity, the school education must reflect this diversity in its national curriculum. SVN seeks to remedy this imbalance with an appropriate cultural input in the school’s standard Caribbean high school curriculum.

 

 

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Number of Students Opting for Science or Tech Are On Rise in India

India leads the world in the number of students getting bachelors degrees in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

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Sydney-based University of New South Wales (UNSW) has instituted 61 scholarships to attract
Representational Image, Pixabay

India leads the world in the number of students getting bachelors degrees in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Of about 5 million students who received their bachelor’s degrees in 2012 in STEM subjects worldwide, 29.2 per cent were from India, UNCTAD’s Technology and Innovation Report 2018 released on Tuesday said.

China came next with 26 per cent of the STEM graduates. The EU accounted for 9.5 per cent of STEM graduates that year and the US for 6 per cent, the report said.

The report used statistics from 2012 and said the total number of bachelors-equivalent degrees awarded that year was 20 million.

The wide gulf in the numbers of students graduating in STEM explains why the US relies on such a large number of foreigners, especially Indians, to fill its technology workforce needs.

“Many countries are witnessing skills shortages in the fields of digital technologies and many employers report difficulties in filling high-skill vacancies,” UNCTAD said, citing a 2016 worldwide survey by ManpowerGroup on talent shortage that found that 40 per cent of employers reported difficulties in filling positions.

So, if your child is preparing for IIT-JEE or NEET from any of the reputed centres like Aakash Institute, as a parent, it's your responsibility to help your child find the right study time
study, representational image, Pixabay

According to India’s University Grants Commission, 10.7 million students were studying science, engineering/technology or computer science in 2016-17, although it did not give a breakdown between undergraduate and postgraduate levels or by year of study.

They made up 36 per cent of those studying in universities and colleges, UGC statistics showed.

Looking to the future, UNCTAD cautioned that “there were indications that educational institutions were not keeping pace with technological advances during the current transition period”.

It urged educational institutions to “react with agility” to the rapid pace of technology and the labour market changes and said this may require “significant transformations” in the education and training systems.

With the widespread use of artificial intelligence and robots looming on the horizon, the report said that “rapid technological progress required the labour force to develop a broader range of skills, focusing on humans’ comparative advantage, to increase employability”.

Also Read: India-Trained ‘Wrongly Educated’ Monks Banned by China

UNCTAD called for broadbasing education and said: “In the new technological landscape, there is a need for generic, core or fundamental skills such as literacy, numeracy and academic skills, together with basic financial and entrepreneurial skills and increasingly, basic digital and even coding skills.” (IANS)