The Indian Education Society – Leicester

 

Welcome to the Indian Education namstey-1Society Leicester’s Web Site.

 

 

Gujarati School lessons for all ages…….

 

The history of the Indian Education Society – Leicester

In 1950, Gujarati people had come to the United Kingdom to settle down. They noticed that the2 majority of Indian people could only speak English and if it continued on, that way then eventually, they would forget their mother tongue, their culture and their values.

In 1963 ‘India ling – Leicester’ started Gujarati and Punjabi classes at Charnwood Primary School, running on Saturdays.  Students would have to travel from Belgrave Street which proved difficult and Shri Dhanjibhai Atwala, a member of ‘India Ling – Leicester’, was concerned about the children.

Shri Dhanjibhai Atwala then went to many Gujarati homes and met parents and asked everyone their opinions on teaching our children our language and values and made a list of children interested in learning.  In April 1963, they called a parent’s meeting and discussed how to preserve our language and culture and decided to start a Gujarati school.  Since people didn’t have much money, they couldn’t even imagine how to pursue to purchase premises to run the school.  So in the end, they decided to run the classes in the homes of volunteering parents.  The following people were those who put forward their homes to be used for Gujarati School:

 

  • Dhanjibhai Atwala

  • Jiwanbhai Mistry,3

  • Randchodbhai Mistry and

  • Ratilal Kushalbhai.

In the meetings, some also donated money to aid the running of the school:

  • Jeevanbhai Mistry

  • Dhanjibhai Atwala

  • Dhansookbhai Mistry

  • Bheekhabhai Patel

  • Manibhai Patel60

  • Jaggubhai Mistry

  • Thakurbhai Lad

  • Heerabhai Lakshmanbhai

  • Rambhai Lad

  • Maganbhai Patel

  • Jamnadas Bhavsar

  • Rambhai Patel

  • Chotubhai Patel and

  • Thakurbhai Devjibhai

93This amount donated was a big help to start the running of the School and it gave a boost to the people.  The teaching staff included Prabhubhai Lad, Jaggubhai Mistry, Khandibhai Tailor, Bupendra Champaneri and Sushilaben Patel.  The committee head was elected as Mangubhai Patel and thus Gujarati School teaching began.

In 1964, a working committee was started.  At that time, Sashikant Patni was elected as the head as he was very young and talented individual.  By polling on his network circle of people in the education department in Leicestershire, he was able to facilitate the running of a School on Belper Street at the Hugh Latimer School on Friday and Saturday evenings for 2 hours.  This became a historical achievement.  Manikbhai Archarya was elected as the first headmaster and thereafter Chottubhai Nayak took over as principal.

On 25th September 1965, they called an AGM and it was decided how the Gujarati School was going to run going forward.  Chotubhai Nayak decided to leave the school for personal reasons and Ramanbhai Patel took over as headmaster.  He worked very hard to establish the school but problems occurred with the funding of the books and material.  Dhanjibhai Atwala and Jeevanbhai Mistry gave donations and we started with 125 students. To sustain the School it was decided that children would be charged 2 shillings per week.  Once students started to attend Gujarati School it was decided that a School event should take place.  Sushilaben Patel and Mrudulaben Patel trained students for performances for the School event and many Guajarati people gathered together and saw for the first time an Indian event like this in Leicester. 90

In 1969, Headteacher Ramanbhai Patel left the School and Changanbhai Master (CL Master) came from East Africa to take his place.  The students took an interest to learn about our language and culture and there was an increase in popularity for the School.

In 1973, there were 18 teachers, and due to demand from students and the need for more facilities, on 27th May 1975, Abbey Primary School was opened for lessons.  New president Lalloobhai Patel wrote a new constitution and in 1977 the society registered as a charity trust. 40

On 31st May 1977, we called another AGM and decided to give 6 committee members lifetime membership to the society: Lalloobhai Patel, Dhanjibhai Atwala, Ranchodbhai Mistry, Jeevanbhai Mistry, Naginbhai Chauhan, Rameshbhai Ramji. 106

President Lalloobhai met up with the headmaster of Elise Infant School and they discussed providing more facilities for the running of Gujarati School.  The headmaster kindly helped to start 5 more classes.  People began to ask for Gujarati lessons to be held in the Charnwood area and 2 classes were also started there.

On 22nd July 1978, Gujarat Education Minister Navalbhai Shah came to visit our Schools and was very impressed with the school work.

On 24th March 1979, School founder Dhanjibhai Atwala decided to settle in Canada and the Indian Education Society continued to run after his hard work.

On 2nd February 1980, Leicestershire Education Department wrote a letter to the Gujarati School and wanted to charge £27.90 every week.  For this, a meeting was called to discuss the sustainability of the school.  It was decided that student fees were to be increased if the school was to continue. School teacher, Mangraben Lakhani decided to give half her wages to run the School.  However, another problem then arose; Hugh Latimer School decided to not let us the school and we needed to find another premise urgently.  The committee decided on Tailor school but it was very far so transport in the form of a coach was provided.

88

Due to all these circumstances, school headmaster Chaganbhai Master met Ramanbhai Barber of Shri Sanatan mandir to discuss these issues.  Ramanbhai Barbar approached the County Council Chairman Dr Hill and Chief Executive Samuel Johnson and after discussions, the County Council called a special meeting to reduce rent for the school by 50% and after six months they decided to charge only 25%.

On 4th June 1983, the School head master Shri Changanbhai L Master‘s health deteriorated and he decided to leave the school with a heavy  heart.  He gave 14 years’ service without asking anything in return.  His resignation was accepted reluctantly and Mr Govindbhai Yadav became head teacher.

96On 2nd October 1983, an AGM was called at Shri Sanatan mandir and 14 committee members and teaching staff were given lifetime achievement certificates.

On 3rd May 1984, Ramanbhai Barbar started 4 classes at Catherine Junior School.

In 1989, The Indian Education Society celebrated 25 years and a silver jubilee in DE Montfort Hall Leicester. In the 25 years since the running of Gujarati School, lessons were held at the following places:

  • Dhanjibhai Atwala’s house

  • Jeevanbhai Mistry‘s house

  • Ranchodbhai Mistry’s house

  • Hugh Latimer School98

  • Tailor Road School

  • Abbey primary school

  • Rusheymead Primary school

  • Soar valley school

  • Catherine junior school

  • Rusheymead Secondary school

  • Herrick junior school

From 1989, an annual cultural evening was held to celebrate our student’s hard work at the Gujarati Schools and trophies were given.

Mr Kantibhai Parmar became headmaster when Mr Govindbhai Yadav left due to other commitments.  Due to decreasing number of students and Herrick Junior School closing down, only Rushey Mead and Abbey Primary schools were used to hold Gujarati school.

In 2013, The Indian Education Society – Leicester celebrated their 50 years golden jubilee at Shri Ram Mandir.  All past and present staff were invited to get together to celebrate with a cultural performance and a buffet. 99

Mr Kantibhai Parmar then left due to health issues and Mr Dilipbhai Patel took over as headmaster. Due to a continuing number of decreasing students and increase in rent, the new committee decided in 2012 to close lessons as Rushey Mead School and only run Gujarati classes at Abbey Primary school.

In 2014, the GCSE examining board decided to scrap GCSE exams and the new committee worked very hard to sustain the school and they introduced new programs like yoga and Sanskrit classes as additions to our students learning journey……….

 

Our Journey goes on………………………………..