Hindu Council connects with UWS students for Diwali

Hindu Council of Australia has made contact with University of Western Sydney (UWS) students and had a low key Diwali sweets distribution with them on 8th November 2018. UWS is one of the premier Universities of Sydney and has over 6,000 Indian students many of them from India, studying in it.

Soup

The University holds a light soup and bread session for its Parramatta campus students every Thursday evening at 6pm which provides free food and a place to mingle for all its students. The food distribution is managed by Parramatta Mission and is attended by about 30-40 students every week.

Hindu Council put up some posters about Diwali and supplied Kheer and Diwali sweets. The Mission agreed to our request to have vegetarian only soup and bread for the day. About 50 Australian, Asian and Indian students visited the soup kitchen. There was a visible smile on the faces of Indian students familiar with Diwali and their happiness could be seen beaming from their faces.

Kheer for Students on Diwali Soup Day

One of the students from Gujarat who has been in UWS for two years came up to me and asked if she can touch my feet as she needs blessings of an elder on this new year day. She touched my feet and her act touched my heart.

Students project of Hindu Council aims at connecting University going students with the existing Hindu Community here and to provide emotional support to overseas and away from home students. Bhupinder Chabra and Reshma Krishnappa are helping with this initiative.

Hindu Council Volunteers at UWS kitchen for Diwali

Survey of University Students

Hindu Council of Australia is conducting a survey of University going students to understand their issues and see how the local community can help them. Take a Survey here.

1. What course are you studying?

MastersBachelorsDiplomaOthers

2. Name of the Institution where you are studying?

UWSUTSUSydUNSWTAFEMQUOthers

3. How was your experience in finding an accommodation in Sydney?

4. To what extent do you agree that you faced cultural shock?

5. How pleasant was your experience with the Australian education system?

6. Was it easy to find part time or casual work?

7. Are you an Overseas student? YesNo

8. What help can make your stay happier?



An auspicious beginning of first SRE Hinduism class by Hindu Council

By : Madya Lila.

On the auspicious occasion of Dusshera, Hindu Council of Australia began its first Hindu Special Religious Education (SRE) program at Sydney Girls High School. Genedine Sionillo, a volunteer teacher from the Australian School of Meditation & Yoga led the class which was very well received by all the students. They especially enjoyed Genedine’s introduction to Bhagavad Gita. The SRE classes at Sydney Girls High School will continue each Friday for the remainder of the school term.

What is SRE?

Special religious education (SRE) is the beliefs and practices of an approved religious persuasion delivered by authorised representatives of that persuasion. It is the distinctive religious tenets and beliefs of the home and family, provided by the churches and other religious groups for children of parents expressing the desire that they receive such teaching.

The NSW Government, through legislation and related policy, recognises the diversity of Australian society and supports parental choice in educating children about their faith. The delivery of Special Religious Education (SRE) is managed by religious persuasions, which are approved as SRE providers by the Department of Education.

SRE is mandated by the Education Act (1990) and gives parents the choice to have children formed in the faith of their family. Section 32 of the Education Act says that ‘In every government school, time is to be allowed for the religious education of children of any religious persuasion.’

The provision of SRE is not funded by government.

The Hindu Council of Australia is registered as an authorised provider of SRE with the NSW Department of Education.

In 2019, HCA will provide Hindu SRE classes in a further six high schools in the Sydney area and will continue to expand the program over the coming years.

If you would like to volunteer to teach Hindu SRE classes, or if you would like to sponsor the cost of teaching materials please contact us at sre@hinducouncil.com.au   

 

By Veena.svg: Sreejithk2000derivative work: Gringer (talk) – Veena.svg, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11886656

HCA to Teach Hinduism in NSW Schools

Hindu Council of Australia has been approved by the Minister of Education to teach Hinduism as an SRE (Special Reigious Education) in NSW state schools. The education is provided on a voluntary basis i.e. the department does not pay any thing and Hindu Council has to provide volunteer teachers, their training and teaching material. 

You can find more information about it at Hindu Council web site’s SRE page.

If you would like to help you can contact us here.

Tributes to Prof Raja Jayraman, former Vice President

Prof Raja Jayraman is remembered by us all. He did so much work for Hindu education in schools and for promoting interfaith harmony in Australia as Vice President of Hindu Council of Australia. Tributes are still pouring in.

Surinder Jain

Professor Raja Jayaraman left his mortal body on last Thursday; his funeral will be at 2 pm on Monday, June 4, at Lotus Pavilion, Macquarie Crematorium, Delhi Road
Nihal Agar
 
He will be missed and at our meeting of RfP we will remember him with a minute silence led by Gayatripana. May his memory be a blessing.
Josie
 
Deeply sad to hear the news about Raja ji. He will be missed for his enthusiasm , witty comment and thorough knowledge on many aspects . 

Sanjeev Bhakri

Sad to hear that the towering Personality Raja Jayramanji passed away , but relieved that this fighter, kept fighting till the end, true to his usual grit. 
I would say that I was one of the fortunates to have interacted with this Committed Hindu & hope to live and imbibe a fraction of his commitment towards social & Dharmic cause.
HSS ( Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh)prays the almighty to provide sadgati to this wonderful aatma. 
We hope that the family can recover from this great loss. 
Om Shanti Shanti Shantih 
Ramyavaran
 
Really sorry to hear the death of Raja ji. 

I used to call him Good Jayaraman. He was so humble, polite, receptive and good listener. 
May God bless him to Rest in Peace 
Jay Raman
 

Saddened to hear  Revered Sri Raja Jayaraman ji passing away. it  is a great loss to us all and the Hindu community at large.  May Bhagwan GauriShankar ji bestow peace to the departed Soul of revered Rajaji and give strength to the family to bear this great loss.

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Urvaarukamiva Bandanaan-Mrityormuksheeya Maamritat
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih 
Radha Krishna Sharma
 
Very sad to learn about Raja jis passing away. He was a truely committed  to social work.

It was a great pleasure and honour to work with him for many years. 
Soul never dies, only changes body. May he travel to next journey peacefully.
I sadly will miss him.
Tara 
 

Very sorry to hear about the passing away of Dr Jayaraman ji. May God bestow peace to the departed soul.

Vijai Singhal

Very sorry to hear about Raja ji. May his soul rest in peace.
Vikas Chopra
 
It’s really sad and hard to believe that Prof Raja jayraman ji not with us. I’m with Rajajis family at this hour of time. May god give solace to the departed soul. 
Chandrakant Kulkarni 
 
Very sad to know that Dr Raja ji is left us. I  am deeply sad that I couldn’t meet him in last few weeks. I am not in Sydney for last month and will be back on 10th so I am not be able to with you all at this moment of sorrow.
Dr Raja ji will always be an inspiration to us all the time.
I pray for him and convey my deepest condolences 
Bhagwat Chauhan
 
Very sad to hear. Om Shanthi.
Sai Pravastu
hari om 
 
very sad to hear. Om shanthi shanthi shanthi 
Manju Nath
 
Sorry to hear that. RIP.
Ashwani Jain
 

Severe shortage of Hindu SRE teachers in NSW schools

NSW

Currently there is an estimated short fall of about a 1,000 Hindu Special Religious Education teachers in NSW.

2017 Statistics

In the enrollment year 2107, there were about 20,000 Hindu students in NSW out of a total of 755,000 student in 2,160 schools, making 2.64% of all students. Buddhists had about 15,000 and Muslims about 50,000 while Sikhs and Jains together had only just over 2,300 students enrolled in public schools.

Of the 2,160 schools, 1,600 were Primary schools and about 400 Secondary schools, rest being others. About 140 Primary schools out of 1,600 have six or more Hindu students, many having more than 200 students. Of 400 secondary schools, about 140 have more than six students with some having numbers in hundreds.

Schools with more than 200 Hindu students  :

Name Type postcode operational_directorate principal_network Total Studen

ts

Number of Hindu Students % Hindus
Westmead Public School Primary School 2145 Macquarie Park Holroyd 1441 920 64
Girraween Public School Primary School 2145 Macquarie Park Parramatta 1134 777 69
Parramatta Public School Primary School 2150 Macquarie Park Parramatta 910 416 46
Matthew Pearce Public School Primary School 2153 Macquarie Park The Hills 1395 341 24
Parramatta High School Secondary School 2150 Macquarie Park Parramatta 858 320 37
Blacktown South Public School Primary School 2148 Macquarie Park Nirimba 1007 306 30
Rosehill Public School Primary School 2142 Macquarie Park Parramatta 664 304 46
Girraween High School Secondary School 2145 Macquarie Park Parramatta 759 297 39
Macarthur Girls High School Secondary School 2150 Macquarie Park Parramatta 1013 297 29
Wentworthville Public School Primary School 2145 Macquarie Park Holroyd 524 293 56
Darcy Road Public School Primary School 2145 Macquarie Park Holroyd 654 284 43
Penrith High School Secondary School 2750 Macquarie Park Penrith 930 274 29
Cherrybrook Technology High School Secondary School 2126 Macquarie Park Dural 1930 250 13
Baulkham Hills High School Secondary School 2153 Macquarie Park The Hills 1213 229 19
Quakers Hill Public School Primary School 2763 Macquarie Park The Hills 956 223 23
Riverbank Public School Primary School 2769 Macquarie Park The Hills 811 221 27
Macquarie Fields High School Secondary School 2564 Ultimo Glenfield 1109 205 18

There are no reliable numbers available as to how many of these schools and students are actually getting Hindu SRE education. But it is estimated that with a maximum class size of 20, about 1,200 Hindu SRE teachers are needed where as only about two hundred teachers have been trained so far by four SRE providers namely, VHP, Chinmaya Mission, Saiva Manram and J.E.T.

Currently there is a short fall of about a 1,000 Hindu SRE teachers in NSW.

(source: Based on Department of Education NSW and on Hindu Council’s research)

State of Teaching Hinduism in NSW Australia

By Vijai Singhal and Surinder Jain (Hindu Council of Australia) 1st March 2018

Apart from various temples and organizations running their own religious and scripture classes, Hinduism is being taught in primary and secondary Schools.

At Primary School level (SRE) – An hour of class time is allowed in state schools per week to teach about religion. The subject is called Special religious Education (SRE). In the state of NSW, this SRE education is provided in some schools by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and in some others by Chinmaya Mission. Saiava Manram provides SRE of Saiva Manram faith in some of the Tamil schools. In total about 70-80 schools out of 2200 Primary State schools in NSW have Hinduism SRE teachers. Each of the education providers (e.g. VHP, Chinmaya, Saiva) have their own Syllabus and their own teaching material.

From 2018, the department has insisted that ” a formal syllabus, vetting of teachers identity, working with children check, training of teachers, a formal complain making and handling mechanism are put in place and made mandatory “. Both VHP and Chinmaya Mission have developed their own syllabus and teaching material. They are required to put up the syllabus on their web sites, VHP syllabus for years 1 to 6 is at http://vhp.org.au/content/hindu-scripture-classes and Chinmaya mission for years K-10 is at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1JV8vg1-bK3rIZzotDHNL3Beu7kfathKi.

Hindus in Australia need to develop a common syllabus for teaching Hinduism as SRE in primary schools.

The department of education provides the class room full of students and it is up to SRE providers (religious organizations) to provide teachers, teaching material etc. The department does not provide any wages or training to these teachers.  Almost all of the teachers are working on voluntary basis paying for their own travel expenses and teaching material like photo copying etc.

Hindu in Australia need to find a way to fund these providers and the teachers.

At Secondary Education level – in NSW we have 2 Unit Study of Religions course in Secondary schools. Hindu Council was consulted in framing the original syllabus. This course covers 5 major religions, Hinduism is one of them. The course material is prepared by Cambridge University Press. We have seen lots of misrepresentation about Hinduism in that material. In last 2-3 years HCA have had discussions with Cambridge Uni Press officials to make changes to the material. With great difficulty HCA could achieve some changes but they pointed out to us that they have to follow the syllabus in preparing the material. e.g. in this, the main emphasis is always linked with the Hindu caste System –  like Hindu Ethics according to different castes.

Hindus in Australia need to develop their own authoritative teaching texts on Hinduism.

The Federal Govt had set up ACARA – Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority to set common syllabus for all different Australian States. At the moment all Sates follow their own syllabi. Prof Jayaraman and Vijai Singhal from HCA had attended some of the meetings of ACARA about teaching of religion. Religion is not going to be a separate subject like the NSW “Study of Religions” subject but is a part of teaching of History.

NSW Govt gets serious about Religious education

NSW state government had ordered a review of Special Religious Education(SRE) in 2015 and the report was received in 2017. Hindu scriptures are taught to students in schools by VHP and Chinmaya Mission under this special scheme. As a part of implementing many of these recommendations, an All Faith SRE (AFSRE) committee was formed. This committee represents different faiths including Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Bahai and Buddhist among others.

Another recommendation to have a formal syllabus, vetting of teachers identity, working with children check, training of teachers, a formal complain making and handling mechanism are being put in place and being made mandatory from this year. Two Hindu organizations Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Chinmaya Mission are both well on their way in complying with these new rules. AFSRE is providing guidance and hand holding to both of them. Both of them have taken the assistance of BBF process to comply with these guidelines.

Saiva Manaram is also registered as an SRE for providing education on Saiva Manram faith to school children and is also on its way to comply with the new rules.  As of this year, SRE’s who do not comply with the new process will not be allowed to teach in schools. Hindu teachers have prepared themselves well and are not affected. Hindu teachers will continue to teach in schools. AFSRE chair, thanked Hindu Council of Australia for having brought together the Hindu SRE providers to understand and fit in with the changes taking place.