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Hindus And Local Councils Launch First National Toolkit for Religious Education

by Ramesh Kallidai, Hindu Forum Britain

Posted April 12, 2006

Time: 4.45PM - 7.00 PM on 6th April 2006

Venue: Harrow Teachers' Centre, Tudor Road, Wealdstone, Harrow, Middlesex

5 April 2006 - The Hindu Forum of Britain, in partnership with the London Borough of Harrow, is launching the country's first national Religious Education toolkit for teaching Hinduism in schools on 6th April 2006. The pilot project, which will initially see 72 schools of Harrow being presented official RE toolkits, will be expanded to include at least ten other Boroughs by the end of the year.

The RE toolkit entitled the Heart of Hinduism is a multi-media resource pack for teachers and students of RE to enable better understanding of Hinduism through GCSE-aligned books, posters, audio CDs, CD ROMs, websites and teacher training guides. The toolkit has been produced after considerable research and consultation with different sections and branches of the Hindu community in the UK. The national launch at Harrow will include demonstrations from the ISKCON Educational Services to an audience of RE teachers and students and an official endorsement of the toolkit by the Harrow SACRE.

Councillor Sanjay Dighe, Deputy Leader of Harrow Council, said: " Harrow has the highest percentage of Hindu residents in the country I am therefore very pleased that we are the first authority to roll out RE toolkits for teaching Hinduism to all our schools. This pack will help ensure that Hinduism is properly understood by our children. I would like to thank our partners at the Harrow Advisory Council on Religious Education, the Hindu Forum of Britain, ISKCON Educational Services for facilitating this important launch."

"The RE toolkits adopted by the Hindu Forum of Britain are educational resources that explain the Hindu tradition in clear terms. They are produced by practitioners of the tradition and is meant for all who wish to broaden their knowledge of Hindu traditions," explained Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain. "The roll-out of the RE toolkits to schools across the country will ensure that Hindu traditions and beliefs are taught to children in an accurate and thought-provoking way. In particular, it will highlight the way in which the religion is practised in Britain."

Pat Stevens, chair of Harrow Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education, said: "This is an extremely valuable resource and SACRE is delighted that it will soon be available for use of schools in the borough. Its interactive and lively ideas will enrich the teaching of Religious Education and go a long way to helping promote an understanding of the beliefs and traditions of Hinduism among the young people of Harrow."

Ends

For more information contact Sanjay Mistry on 07810368772 or Ramesh Kallidai on 07915 383 103 or 07867 837 241

Editor's Notes:

1. The Hindu Forum of Britain is the representative umbrella body for British Hindus with formal membership of over 270 Hindu organisations from different regions and cultural backgrounds in Britain. The Hindu Forum of Britain has conducted some of the largest community consultation activities on behalf of the Hindu community to influence Government policy and runs a number of projects for Hindu youth, women and temples. Although the Hindu Forum is a national organisation, it has a large regional presence through its membership from the largest regional umbrella organisations, religious organisations, community organisations and youth organisations. At the core of the Forum's activities is a strong belief in the richness and diversity of the Hindu culture, its value system that encompasses respect for all beings and faiths, and a cultural heritage that facilitates community cohesion and coexistence. For more information visit the HFB Website: www.hinduforum.org