September 7 - 9, 2018 @ Chicago

FRIDAY  September 7, 2018
Quality Education For All
Conducted by the Hindu Education Board
This conference brings together educators, academics, administrators, government representatives, students, advocates, and other stakeholders to discuss challenges and opportunities in the field of education, including access to high quality, affordable education, the academic study of Hindu dharma, history, and society, as well as investing in creative modalities for dharmic values-based education. Objectives: Universally accessible quality educational system for all; Enabling people to become meaningful contributors to societal goals (16% of global population cannot rely on others to educate it. In past we have had our own institutions); Institutions of excellence to set benchmarks and standards (provide leadership, enhance self-confidence, immunize from external distortions.
Introductory Remark - Keynote
Session 1. Quality Education in Growing Economies
Bharat is growing. Citizens want effective policy initiatives so that quality education gets universalized. In general government institutions are not taken in high regard. People, even in poor areas want to opt for private institutions. But they lack finances. Further, there is no guarantee that private institutions are necessarily of great quality. What is the way out? What is the role of the government?
Session 2. Role of Institutions in Developing Scholars in Hindu Studies
Hindu Studies is an ignored area of study. In fact, in Bharat "Hindu Study" is not even listed as an area of study. This is strange as Bharat does recognize studies in other religions as valid areas of specialization. Further, there is a dearth of scholars in the world in area of "Hindu Study". There is clearly a need to address this problem. Recently established universities like Ramakrishna Vivekananda University, Chinmaya University, Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya could fill in this important gap.
Saturday September 8, 2018
Session 3. Governance of Schools
Hindus have set up a very large number of schools across the world. For instance, Vidya Bharati itself runs over 20,000 schools. However, these schools still subscribe to an alien system. What can these schools do to promote Hindu values? How can a different, Hindu-rooted structure can be developed? Can we have a Hindu Board, which conducts Board exams for 10th and 12th classes? There is no reason why such a board cannot ensure the highest quality standards, and also promote Hindu values and culture through such schools.
Session 4. Strengthening Our Knowledge Traditions and Languages
Bharat has world's largest corpus of original texts and manuscripts. Our knowledge traditions are ancient, diverse, and deep. However, not much effort has been made to learn about these traditions, and the knowledge contained therein. In many areas, understanding traditional perspectives can open up new ways of thinking. Then there are cases, where traditional knowledge can actually solve some of the modern problems. There is also a need to strengthen Bharat's languages. Sans these languages, all the traditional knowledge would become the preserve of museums and archives.
Session 5. Case Studies in Innovation
There are numerous initiatives in area of education across the world? What are their experiences? What are the success stories? What type of challenges can be managed through collaboration and networking.
Session 6. Curricula Innovation
There is a critical need to innovate our curricula. This is required for several reasons. Some of these are; improving employability, provision of quality education cost effectively, development of curricula-society linkages, reducing the arts-science divide, etc. There are several Hindu academicians who are at the forefront of some of the best educational institutions in the world. These resources could be certainly used to provide insights as to how curricula could be innovated.