Hindu School Seeks to "Produce a Generation Concerned With Basic Human Values"

May 16, 2004

Source: Sunday Times


On May 16, 2004 the Sunday Times reported, "Six months before his department closed, Dr Bisraam Rambilass, former head of Sanskrit at the University of Durban-Westville, invested his money in the establishment of KwaZulu-Natal's only Hindu school. Westville Hindu Primary School, which he runs himself, is unique in that it offers Indian Studies in a structured formal syllabus. 'We're Hindus, but we're also South Africans,' says Rambilass. 'We teach conversational Hindi and simple Sanskrit alongside Zulu, but we also treat Afrikaans as an academic subject. By making these Indian languages and culture an integral part of mainstream education, we're equipping our pupils with a cultural identity relevant to modern South Africa. We're not caught up in any fundamentalism. Westville Hindu Primary is a new school and a new challenge. I want it to produce a generation concerned with basic human values, learners who grow to love and care for each other'...Westville Hindu Primary School, now surrounded by gardens and sports facilities, began in January 2000 with nine students. There were four pupils in Grade 1, four in the nursery class and, though there was only one child in Grade 3, a teacher was employed for each class. Now there are 50 pupils, including one African, six full-time teachers for academic subjects, part-time teachers for dance, music, yoga, meditation and computer studies, and professional coaches for sports, which include mini soccer, cricket, tennis, netball and soccer.