At the last CXC exams, the West Coast Demerara School, the Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN), was outstanding in its overall results, doing much better than most of the traditional ‘super’ schools of Georgetown. Someone had written a letter giving reasons for the SVN’s remarkable achievement (eg, banning private lessons), and advocating that the school be studied by the Caribbean Exams Council and the Ministry of Education.
The one important factor in achieving such remarkable results that the letter-writer omitted to mention was the fact that the school methodically carries out its own teacher-training programes, both locally and overseas.
I recently came across a past newspaper of July 2012 where there was a report that the school was able to enjoy the confidence and gracious generosity of the Ramnarayan family of the USA which granted full scholarships to three students of Saraswati Vidya Niketan to pursue degrees at first class American colleges. These students have now returned and are teaching at SVN. The school has also provided scholarships for Cyril Potter training. Accordingly SVN is building up a high grade professional teaching staff reminiscent of the old Queen’s College.
All secondary schools need to take a page out of SVN’s book and the Ministry of Education should encourage them to help themselves and not to sit aimlessly waiting on Government-sponsored scholarships. It may profit the ministry to try to keep in close contact with Swami Aksharananda who is committed to raising moral and educational standards in Guyana and who is successfully doing so.