One of the largest Punjabi language schools of Australia, run at the Australian Sikh Association’s temple in Glenwood, received a grant of nearly $100,000 from the NSW state government last year.
In the last two years the school has experienced a six-fold increase in students. There are now around 400 students attending the weekend classes at the Glenwood gurdwara.
The free Punjabi classes on Saturdays have become so popular with families in the Sydney community that the organisers have had to run two sessions with nearly 200 students in each session.
The school has been around for a decade now, but it is only in the last two years that it has grown to its current size and popularity.
The school is still run in the original site in the precincts of the gurdwara. However, in its current state the building needs urgent renovation. To this end the NSW government contributed $45,000 in April last year.
Since then the funds have been used for refurbishment of the old school building.
The school received another donation of $29,000 from the NSW government, and this is for the day-to-day needs of the school as well as better education facilities. The school organisers plan to use part of this grant to install interactive boards in the classrooms as well as other modern educational methods and technology.
ASA’s committee members in charge of the school, in a statement to The Indian Sun, said: “The kids who are born here… they can’t integrate into their own community. Many don’t know their own language.”
“It’s important they can talk to their parents and grandparents,” said committee members Dr Surinder Singh, Bhupinder Singh and Daljeet Singh Bal.
“When they learn Punjabi, they study religious books and history,” the statement said.