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Guru Nanak Institute launches online courses in Punjabi to promote Sikhism

The Guru Nanak Institute will operate online, but has plans to build a school in B.C. and to expand its curriculum to academic subjects and research A new private post-secondary school launched on Tuesday offers students a Sikh studies diploma that it calls the first in Canada.
The new school, called the Guru Nanak Institute of Global Studies, is named after the founder of the Sikh religion. It will begin courses online only, possibly as early as next month, but its founder and board chair said it has plans to eventually build a campus somewhere in B.C.
“We will need 50 to 100 acres,” said Gian Singh Sandhu, who was joined at GNI’s launch in the lobby of Surrey City Hall by local politicians and an official from Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus, which hopes one day to partner with GNI to offer courses, possibly in Sikh studies. “It is really early days,” said Stephen Dooley, executive-director of SFU Surrey.
He called the GNI “innovative” and said the school could provide courses similar to the South Asian courses offered by universities that would specifically allow Sikhs to “delve deeper into what Sikhism is. It could be a chance to understand their cultural roots.” He said it could also be for “developing programs for people like me” who are interested in better understanding Sikhism “to foster more tolerance as a country and a society.” The new school, called the Guru Nanak Institute of Global Studies, is named after the founder of the Sikh religion. It will begin courses online only, possibly as early as next month, but its founder and board chair said it has plans to eventually build a campus somewhere in B.C.
“We will need 50 to 100 acres,” said Gian Singh Sandhu, who was joined at GNI’s launch in the lobby of Surrey City Hall by local politicians and an official from Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus, which hopes one day to partner with GNI to offer courses, possibly in Sikh studies. “It is really early days,” said Stephen Dooley, executive-director of SFU Surrey.
He called the GNI “innovative” and said the school could provide courses similar to the South Asian courses offered by universities that would specifically allow Sikhs to “delve deeper into what Sikhism is. It could be a chance to understand their cultural roots.”
He said it could also be for “developing programs for people like me” who are interested in better understanding Sikhism “to foster more tolerance as a country and a society.” The Guru Nanak Institute officially launched at Surrey City Hall Tuesday, May 17, 2022. PHOTO BY JASON PAYNE /PNG SFU has a mandate to offer equity, inclusion and diversity in its programming and policies, and may be interested in partnering with GNI in future on courses.
The institute will at first offer three programs “specifically focused on Sikhism from an academic perspective, versus a religious one,” according to a news release. The Sikh studies diploma will offer seven courses designed to have students become fluent and proficient in reading and writing Punjabi and study Sikh religious, moral and social values “to have a solid understand of Sikh ethos and how they connect with social justice.”

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