Shree Saraswati Ramayan Mandali
Shree Saraswati Ramayan Mandali (SSRM) is a faith based organization that was established in 1960 by a group of dedicated, passionate and religious minded followers of the Hindu religion. During this time there existed a strongly bonded Hindu community in and around the greater Nausori and Rewa Delta areas. The support rendered for religious and social activities was overwhelming. Financial assistance for these activities was provided through fund raising drives which included enacting Ram Leela, Bhajan recitals, Ramayan Samellan, Faag competitions, film screening, Arti collection and variety concerts.
In 1965 the old Rewa Hotel was bought and converted into a temple – Ram Mandir. Membership started increasing which also realized the scope for educational development. There was an urgent need for a secondary school in the area as children travelled all the way to Suva to attend secondary schools. The building space of the old Rewa Hotel was so huge which allowed the establishment of Saraswati College with an initial roll of 200 students and 5 teachers. The temple continued to be attached to the school.
The fate of the old Rewa Hotel was about to change as the land lease was on the verge of expiry. Despite the financial hardships, SSRM acquired a 12-acre freehold land at Dilkusha, Nausori. Saraswati College was constructed: a three storey structure – classrooms, administration offices, library and science labs; a double storey structure – classrooms and the toilet block and another double storey structure – classrooms, Home Economics and Industrial Arts rooms.
Saraswati Primary School and Kindergarten in Dilkusha, Nausori was established in1982 as a feeder school to the college as it could no longer rely on other primary schools to source its students.
Nausori Sanatan College located in Manoca was experiencing problems due to rapid declining student population. SSRM successfully negotiated the acquisition of the assets which eventually led to the establishment of yet another primary school, Saraswati Primary School – Manoca.
Over the years, classrooms, administration offices, labs and specialist rooms were added to the existing structures and today we have a full-fledged college offering education up to Form 7 and primary schools with kindergartens.
SSRM besides managing the school operations has successfully ventured into land use development/ agricultural experiences through the establishment of its commercial entity, Saraswati Development Unit, and continues to provide capacity building programs and training in a number of agro based fields. Given its existing knowledge, skills, capacity and resources will identify and work with other likeminded NGOs in a mutually rewarding and sustaining partnership environment to prompt agriculture/vocational agriculture training and provide hands on agriculture experiences to the out of school youths and the vulnerable community members.
On 12th January 2017, SSRM and Ramakrishna Mission Fiji signed a Memorandum of Understanding to effectively establish a partnership between them to allow SSRM to control the administration and management operations of Ramakrishna Mission Primary School in Waidalice, Naitasiri. This has been formalized with the signing of the Sale and Purchase Agreement.
SSRM with its devoted members, staff, students, parents and stakeholders in 2016 hosted the Golden Jubilee Celebrations with the theme: “Committed to Nation Building through Education, Culture and Religion.” The theme and the celebration proceedings had challenged all the stakeholders to set the tone and pace to express, advance, make functional and promote education, culture and religion `to our people for their physical, spiritual and economic wellbeing.
Education is the only genuine means that can change the world into a much better place for all to live peacefully and in prosperity and SSRM is pursuing with vigor and also translating the vision of the pioneers into functional action by creating and developing innovative ways to effectively provide employability skills to prepare our younger generations for the challenges that await them in the future.
Shree Saraswati Ramayan Mandali is the controlling authority of the following Saraswati Schools: Saraswati College, Saraswati Primary School and Kindergarten – Dilkusha, Saraswati Primary School and Kindergarten – Manoca and Ramakrishna Saraswati Primary School and Kindergarten in Waidalice, Naitasiri.
The school grants are disbursed term wise by the Ministry of Education and managed by a team of committed ancillary staff based at the SSRM Headquarters. The grants are prudently managed, audited by external auditors and the Annual Financial Audited Reports of the respective schools are submitted to the Ministry of Education for scrutiny and release of grants.
SHREE SARASWATI RAMAYAN MANDALI MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
The Shree Saraswati Ramayan Mandali Management Committee is elected every year at the Annual General Meeting. The Annual General Meeting of SSRM is held annually on or before 31st March of the ensuing year at the SSRM Board Room.
The following reports are presented: report from the President/Manager, reports from the School Heads and the Annual Audited Financial Reports. These are discussed, approved and submitted to the Ministry of Education for scrutiny and release of school grants.
The Management Committee is elected to administer and manage mandali and school operations. Besides these responsibilities they are tasked with the following:
- To safeguard and to teach, preach and promote the Sanatan Dharam scripture and culture
- To promote, encourage and assist pupils by awarding bursaries and scholarships to children of all races
- To affiliate with other non-government organizations with similar objectives to advance the educational pursuits, cultural aspirations, spiritual wellbeing, health and defense of the students, members and the community at large.
SSRM conducts its Management Committee Meetings once per term where detailed financial, management and school reports are discussed and decisions made on matters pertaining to the administration and management operations. It is important to note that quality infrastructure and resources are made available by the school management to the staff and students in all the Saraswati Schools to ascertain there is efficient delivery of the teaching and learning programs. This has manifested in improved behavior and external exam results.