TODAY’S CHILDREN ARE TOMORROW’S LEADERS
Human values cannot be imbibed through textbooks nor can they be gifted by anyone. They come out of one’s own heart in a natural way. Education is not merely gaining knowledge – its foundation rests in action. True Education in Human Values should reflect on our conduct in everyday life – Sri Sathya Sai Baba
The end of education is character – Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSE) program has been initiated and founded by Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in India. The program’s primary focus is on character development which in turn facilitates all-round development of the children.
Currently, the SAI Spiritual Education (SSE) is conducted in many countries. This program has been operational in Singapore from 1976 onwards and at the Sathya Sai centre for Educare from 1985.
Philosophy and Concept of Educare
The word education has its origin in the Latin word “Educare”, which means “to elicit from within”. Educare is the process of eliciting the human values innate within each person.
We do not have to pour or implant anything into the students. They have everything within them. What we need to do is to provide the necessary environment to draw out the latent goodness in the students.
For example, a seed does not need anything added to it to grow into a mighty tree. What it needs is the right environment, nutrients and protection from harmful elements like pests. Similarly, students need a non-toxic environment full of love, opportunities to express themselves and to contribute, and the necessary discipline to prevent harmful elements from polluting their young minds.
How can we draw out goodness from the children?
This can be done by getting them to give the answers instead of telling them – we must start the process with the children. We must also learn with the children. Educare is the process of involving the children in the learning process.
As Confucius has said:
If you tell me, I will forget.
If you show me, maybe I will remember.
If you involve me, I will learn.
How can we involve the children in the learning process?
Children can be involved by …
– discovering their own resources
– challenging them to think for themselves
– stimulating their creativity
– actively taking part
– doing their own research
– discovering the joy of learning
Unity of Faiths
In the Sathya Sai Education in Human Values program, no one religion is taught. Students are taught to understand and appreciate various religions. This is through the Unity of Faith prayers at the assembly sessions, visits to various places of worship, visits by various religious heads to meet the students and celebration of different religious festivals.
Unity of Thought, Word and Deed
Unity of thought, word and deed means that what is thought is spoken and then acted upon. When there is disharmony between what we think, say and do, there is unrest within us which leads to confusion and miscommunication.
It is not easy to align the three. As with any endeavour, constant effort is the key. When there is harmony between our thoughts, words and deeds, there is a certain transformation that takes place within us. There is no human value greater than this.
Unity of thought, word and deed develops who we are. Who we are, speaks louder than the words we say or the deeds we do.
According to Sathya Sai Baba, “Today, we do not need a new faith or creed, nor a new system of education. Nor do we need to create a new society. All we need are men, women and students who have pure and loving hearts.”
Love and Respect for the Country
If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in character.
If there is beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
The Sathya Sai Education in Human Values program teaches us that the way to contribute to one’s country is to be a better “ME”.
The respect for the country is also reinforced through lessons conducted and major activities that are organized to celebrate National Day. These include special visits to homes for the disabled and old folks to celebrate National Day.
Free Education for All
Only two types of things come free – those that are worth-less and those that are invaluable.
Free education is not a charity for the poor and those who cannot afford; it is but a form of selfless service, for the future society.
- To promote excellence in character, all round development
- To know oneself
- To develop ideal citizens of the country and the world
- To serve the society, nation and the world
- To realize the oneness of all
- To promote inter-religious and inter-racial harmony, understanding and appreciation from an early age. Children are taught through example to see everyone beyond the religious and racial boundaries
- To reach out to all ethnic communities
The Sathya Sai Education in Human Values program is widespread and has influenced thousands of students all over the world. The different approaches to Sathya Sai Education in Human Values are as follows:
- Weekly classes privately run outside school – This is the SSE Program that we are currently following in the Sathya Sai Centre for Educare, as in many other Sathya Sai centres in Singapore.
- As part of school curriculum – This approach is not being currently adopted in Singapore. If adopted, it would be equivalent to SSE trained teachers conducting weekly CME classes in the schools. Outside Singapore, this method is being successfully adopted in some countries. An example is the SSEHV movement in United Kingdom. Details of their effort are available at the following website: http://www.sathyasaiehv.org.uk/
- Human Values Integrated into School Curriculum – In this approach, values are integrated into the core academic curriculum of the school and not taught as a separate subject. e.g. Values can be integrated into teaching of English as a academic subject through use of Comprehension Passages and Composition topics that are values-based.
- Sathya Sai Schools – Details of the Sathya Sai Schools can be found at the following website: http://educare.sathyasai.org/html/index.asp and http://www.sathyasaischool.ca/
- Sathya Sai University – The Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed University) is the first Sathya Sai University to be set up. It is currently located in Puttaparthi, India. Details of the University can be found at the following link: http://sssihl.edu.in/