for The Hindu on March 8, 2008
London (PTI): Lilting strains of the sitar and other forms of Indian music will feature prominently in the curriculum of schools in London from the forthcoming academic year starting in September. The Harrow-based Krishna Avanti Primary School, Britain's first state-funded Hindu school, will weave elements of Indian music, dance, drama and yoga into the national curriculum.
The school will welcome its first batch of 30 pupils from this September. Harrow has a large minority of Indian origin. Naina Parmar, head-teacher of the Krishna-Avanti school, said: Our school recognises the importance of innovation and responding to government priorities to ensure our pupils are equipped with life-long skills and attitudes essential to enable them to make not just positive but outstanding contributions to all aspects of contemporary British society."
Music lessons in the school will include Indian instruments and style as well as western, she said. The school will also teach Sanskrit as a classical language, and either French, Spanish or Mandarin as a modern foreign language.
Elsewhere in the London borough of Harrow, the local council recently concluded a pilot project to introduce sitar at the Pinner Park Middle School. For the project, the council's music services department recently ordered several child-size sitars from India.