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In January 2008, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, UK, began formal classes for 33 children to be awarded the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) in Hinduism. The course, comprising two units – Unit M on ‘Hinduism’ and Unit F on ‘Religion and life based on a study of Hinduism’ – with five sections in each unit, is accredited by Edexcel, the UK’s largest awarding body offering academic and vocational qualifications to learning centres in the UK and internationally.

We were delighted that a full 100% of all students who sat the exam in the first year achieved grades ranging from A* to C (the GCSE board considers grades D and E as passes, too), compared to 73% nationally.

The results for this year were just as exceptional. Again, there was a 100% success rate in both units as all students achieved grades A* to C. Of these, over 83% were in the top A* and A band for Unit M and 84% for Unit F, whereas less than one-third (32.7%) of students achieved the same standard in the subject nationally. Notably, 15 students scored 95% and above, with special congratulations to Meera Patel who achieved 99% in Unit F and Hershini Soneji who similarly achieved 99% in Unit M.

Congratulations to all the students on an excellent year of study all round. Congratulations also to their parents for their loving support, and to the course teacher Mr Laljibhai Ladwa and his dedicated team of support-teachers who made it all possible.

A cohort of 35 new students has already begun Unit M classes in preparation for their exam in June 2010, bringing the total number of children currently studying towards a GCSE in Hinduism to 65.

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