NRI News

Chinmaya Mission starts Boarding School for NRIs

Coimbatore, India - During his extensive lecture tours in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Far East and Africa, Swami Chinmayananda noticed that children of non-resident Indians often faced pressures and conflicts in trying to assimilate the culture of their peers in school while, at the same time, trying to respect the traditional values of their parents. Such a conflict often led to an identity crisis. Just as a sapling is staked until its roots are established, Swami Chinmayananda felt that every child should be rooted in his culture and identity, so that he or she would have the strength to not only withstand the storms of life, but to contribute to the wider community. The seed of the Chinmaya International Residential School (CIRS) was planted; a school which would provide a learning environment integrating the best that the west and the east could offer.

Los Altos resident, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, who recently retired as Deputy Superintendent of Schools in the San Mateo school district near San Francisco, California, has undertaken to set up the Chinmaya International Residential School in Coimbatore, India, under the auspices of the Central Chinmaya Mission Trust. The school is slated to open in June 1996. Inquiries and applications have already started coming in, not only from the United States, but from India and around the world.

Rajendra Prasad, who holds a doctoral degree from Stanford University, has 25 years of experience as an educator in the California school systems. Over the years he had extensive discussions with the Mission's founder, Swami Chinmayananda, on what the focus of the international school should be. It was decided that the school's curriculum would include a range of the very best of Indian culture.

Dr. Prasad's wife, Malti, will accompany her husband and participate in setting up the school. Malti has an M.A. in Education from Stanford University and she taught mathematics at the Graham Middle School in Mountain View, California from 1967 to 1991. She was a member of the California Teachers' Association State Council for three years, and also served as President of the Mountain View Teacher's Association.

Students at CIRS will have the opportunity to learn about Indian thought and philosophy, and to cultivate a moral and ethical value system to promote the greatest good for the greater part of humanity. They will be exposed to modern India, with its many challenges and opportunities. After the schooling at CISR, children will be academically proficient to continue their education at universities in England, Europe or the United States.

In the eclectic spirit of taking the best educational traditions from the East and the West, CISR will encourage the integration of creative and independent thinking common in western schools, with the academic rigor found in Indian curricula. Thus the students will emerge from CISR with an analytical, yet broad approach to solving problems in the real world.

CIRS will employ advanced technology through affiliations with Western school systems that are currently upgrading to state of the art computer based education and its students will be well-prepared for Western universities that do emphasize such tools. CISR recognizes that any institution must function within its own unique framework, and will implement the the technological methodology in the context of the Indian environment - people, infrastructure, social and political norms etc. - and achieve the highest standards of excellence in education.

For more information about the school, please contact S. Sukumar of Chinmaya Mission San Jose at Tel: 408/867-3193, Fax: 408/867-2343, e-mail:

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