President donates $1M to SVN
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President David Granger and Swami Aksharananda Ji with the Class of 2019 (MoTP photo)
President David Granger and Swami Aksharananda Ji with the Class of 2019 (MoTP photo)

–to help advance school’s science programme

PRESIDENT David Granger on Sunday donated $1M to the Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN) school for the expansion of its science programmes and to help equip its science laboratories currently under construction.

President David Granger (centre) joins SVN Principal Swami Aksharananda Ji (left) for the opening of the school’s graduation ceremony (Samuel Maughn photo)

He made the donation during remarks at the school’s graduation of some 86 students who copped high academic achievements.

The students of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) together accumulated some 518 grade ones.

In his address, the President said that SVM can be proud of its growth over the last 17 years as it has grown from a small school of only 35 students and five teachers to now 460 students and a staff of 40.

With its plans to construct a science laboratory and to introduce solar-powered panels to its buildings, he stated that these decisions are both testimonies to the growing importance of science education and the value placed on a future of renewable energy.

Further, he drove home the point that science education is vital to ensuring that Guyana is not left behind when compared to the rest of the world and its students are equipped with the skills necessary to modernise Guyana.

On the topic of religion, he noted that the Hindu not-for-profit secondary school has maintained a performance over the years of “nothing short of stellar,” while it continues to place equal focus on religious study and faith.

He assured that the government will continue to respect the right of religious communities to provide religious education through schools.

The President said that SVN is demonstrating that students everywhere with the right resources, staff and the right instructions, any child can attain academic excellence.

During the principal’s report, Principal Swami Aksharananda Ji noted too that the school’s moral values has much to do with the success realised by the students.

He thanked the President for his presence at the ceremony noting that he is the third Head of State to have graced the occasion with his presence. Present Granger delivered his first address to the school in October 2015.

Swami Aksharananda Ji also stated that the school’s plans to install solar panels on its building would help to save finances, as he told the President: “Mr President, where alternative energy is concerned we know that we have your blessings.”
Meanwhile, the charge to the class was given by Commercial Manager of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) Rama Persaud, who told the graduates and their parents that they have much to celebrate at this time.

Some of the 86 students who graduated on Sunday, with their parents and well-wishers

She noted that institutions such as SVN must be complimented for maintaining a balance between moral development and academic excellence.

“It is necessary that we support and applaud the efforts being made by institutions like the SVN,” she said.

“Graduating students as you leave the SVN today, whether to move on to higher learning institutions or to start building for yourself… you must focus on purpose; what you want to achieve [and I] hope that you will continue to focus on character.”

The graduating students were presented with awards, medals, prizes and CSEC and CAPE certificates.

Awards went to the best graduating CSEC student, valedictorian Chetram Harrinarine, who passed 19 subjects and the second best graduating CSEC student, Manoj Lachhman who passed 18 subjects.

The best graduating CAPE student was Narindra Persaud; the SVN Honour Student was Virendra Dookie, while the top contributors to the SVN Annual Blood Donation Drive, Bibi Sookdeo and Dhanwatntie Persaud were also recognised.

Harrinarine also received the President’s Award of Excellence; Lachhman received the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence, while Persaud received the Principal’s Award for Excellence.

Several teachers also received awards for their contributions over the years to students’ development.

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