Background to SSE
While the focus of the program is on students, the integral role of both parents and gurus and a conducive Environment of Love are mandatory and integral parts of the program.
Thus, the SSE Program structure can be represented as follows:
Moreover, Swami gives an analogy of the bicycle to educating the students.
“Education is like a bicycle. The rider is the student, the Parents and Bal Vikas Guru represent the front and the back wheel of the bicycle. If the Bicycle has to move all them must co-operate and further this movement. It is indeed the need of the hour for all parents to pause for while and understand that the Home is the birthplace of Value Education. Once the seeds are sown in the home by the parents, the Bal Vikas Class provide the right environment for the ﬂowering of the seeds into healthy saplings. The Bal Vikas Guru like the gardener, tends the sapling so that it bears beautiful fruits and ﬂowers and spreads its fragrance in the world around.”
– Sathya Sai Baba
- Planned weekly lessons – indoor and outdoor.
- Regular contact between students/parents and gurus via phones, SMS, emails, chats, among other methods. Each guru is responsible for 3-5 students on their calling list. This facilitates closer interaction and is especially effective amongst older students.
- Involving the students in service projects outside the weekly classes.
- Tapping on the talents and potential of the students to keep them interested and to create opportunities for students to take on responsibilities and leadership roles. e.g. Music Group, Multimedia group, and Logistics group.
- Older students are involved in NYAA projects and overseas projects.
- Involving the older students and graduands of the program in training and reaching out to younger students. This is doubly effective as the younger students look up to the older ones and the older ones feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.
- Every year, we have a graduation ceremony to mark students moving up to the next level. Structure of the program is presented elsewhere.
- Other activities – musical training, motivational talks, workshops, academic workshops, etc.
- Helping students from needy families by matching them up with bursaries being provided by different organizations. Here our role is mainly that of providing information and looking out for families that we know need help.
Parents of the students form an integral part of the SSE Program. Every effort is made to reach out to the parents as no student program run once a week can be successful until and unless parents reinforce the same values at home on a daily basis.
Reaching out to parents takes place through:
- Parenting Workshops.
- Parent–Teacher sessions.
- Creating opportunities for families to be involved together in the program.
- Involving the parents in activities like outdoor sessions, concert performances, helping with make-up and costumes, tapping on parent skills for training and networking, among others.
- Regular communication via memos, emails, phone calls, and so on.
SSE Gurus (Teachers)
The guru can be compared to a gardener planting the seedlings, watering them with love and fertilizing them with the values of truth, right conduct, peace and non-violence. The guru nurtures the plant to grow in a healthy and balanced way.
Teachers are remembered more for who they were than what they taught.
How many of us remember the lessons that teachers taught us? In 10 years the students will not remember most of the lessons taught by their teacher. What they will remember is the teacher who taught them the lessons.
There are two golden rules for gurus :
– Rule #1: Be a good example.
– Rule #2: Same as Rule No 1.
Programs for SSE Gurus include:
- Training Programs.
- Periodic workshops on specific areas.
- Attachment to senior SSE Gurus to gain experience and confidence.
- Mentor scheme – for young adults to become SSE Gurus.
- Weekly, fortnightly and regular lesson-plan meetings where new and experienced teachers interact to plan the lessons.
Environment consists of both the tangible and intangible environment.
Tangible environment consists of :
- Space – venue for all activities, store-rooms, admin areas, etc.
- Resources – sound system, multimedia facilities, stationery, laptops, student and guru database, etc.
- People – admin team, transport team, logistics team, multimedia and music team
Intangible environment consists of:
- the energy and atmosphere of a place
- the feeling of being in a peaceful and loving environment
- the sheer joy of being with like-minded people and drawing on each other’s positive energy and attitudes
The students, gurus and parents make up and contribute to this environment which in turn supports and nurtures them. It is this environment that enables more than 150 people to give up 5 to 10 hours of their precious weekend on a regular basis.