Oman schools unite to spread human ethos

Oman schools unite to spread human ethos

(MENAFN – Times of Oman) Nearly 2,000 children from about 110 schools from the capital region gathered at the Indian School, Al Ghubra to participate in the eighth edition of Serve And Inspire (SAI) Group and Times of Oman’s ‘Spreading the Light Through Human Values’, open essay writing and poster making competition on human values.

Aisha Ahmed Suweidan Al Blushi, director general, Directorate General of Private Schools, Ministry of Education, Sultanate of Oman inaugurated the open essay writing and poster making competition which had multiple themes on human values. The event, which was first held in 2003, is being held in three phases.

The event was attended by senior officials from the Ministry of Education, principals, teachers and guests from corporate houses. Other senior officials who graced the occasion from the Ministry of Education included Abdul Aziz Al Rawahy, Director-Licensing, Fawza Lashko, Director, Special Education, Michele Thoghdha, Chief Supervisor, Siddiqa Al Lawati, Dy Director, International Schools, Batool Al Lawati, Dept of Special Education and Masooma Al Lawati, Head of Supervision, Govt Schools, Rayees Ahmed, President, ISG School Management Committee, Papri Ghosh, Principal, ISG and many other dignitaries were present for the inaugural function.

Speaking on the occasion, Aisha Ahmed Suweidan Al Blushi said, “The Serve and Inspire Group has been relentless in its efforts to ensure that they spread the message of human values.” She said the event which is no longer a competition but an experience, has come a long way. “Integrating the government school and getting them to participate is a milestone of sorts,” she added.

Michele Ni Thoghdha from the Department of Private Schools, Directorate General of Education, Ministry of Education said, “The Serve and Inspire Group (SAI) started these competitions eight years ago and they have gone from strength to strength. They have grasped the nettle by the hand and are prepared to do everything possible to ensure that all children in the Sultanate of Oman are provided with the opportunity to reflect upon the five core human values and are challenged into expressing their thoughts and feelings either in essay/poster format. I have watched the number of participating schools and students increase dramatically.”

Privileged

Ahmed Rayees, president, School Management Committee, Indian School Al Ghubra said, “The principle and the philosophy guiding the Serve And Inspire Group is admirable. Our school feels privileged to support the event. After all education in human values lay the foundation for inculcating character in the children. Officials from the Ministry and Indian School, Al Ghubra lauded the efforts of the organisers.”

Phase I was conducted on Thursday at Indian School, Al Ghubra in which students from Omani Arabic, Bilingual, International and Special education institutions in the Capital Region participated. Phase II will be held on April 22 at Indian School, Salalah for the schools in Dhofar Region and at Indian School, Nizwa for the International Schools in Nizwa. Phase III is slated for April 29 at Indian School, Sohar for the schools in Batinah, Buraimi and Dhahira regions and simultaneously at ‘The Training Centre’, MoE, Nizwa for the schools in Dakhiliyah region.

Going by the encouraging response from the schools in the interior regions, it is expected that the enrollment from the schools in Batinah, Dhofar and Dakhliyah regions will cross 1,000 mark from 100 schools.

The topics for both poster making and essay writing are common ‘Health is Wealth’ for ages 6 to 9 (Group A), ‘Respect to Teachers’ for ages 9 to 12 years (Group B), ‘Save Money; Serve Many’ for ages 12 to 15 (Group C) and ‘Life is a Challenge; Meet it’ for ages 15 to 18 (Group D). Participants are given 90 minutes for essay writing and 120 minutes for poster making.

This year being the 40th Year of Renaissance, as a mark of dedication and support to this glorious nation, SAI Group has marked the competition as a National Event and extended coverage to new regions such as South Batinah, Buraimi and Dhahira.

Additionally, towards active participation in the 40th National Day celebrations, SAI Group has been granted approval by MoE to conduct 40 workshops for teachers at various bilingual schools on Human Values. Starting from May, 2010 and running upto March, 2011, interesting modules on teaching of human values using different techniques will be deliberated upon and interspersed with interactive sessions on topics of values, citizenship education and water education.

It is significant to note that this year’s competition on human values by SAI Group working hand in hand with MoE and Oman National Commission for Education, Culture and Science is a step towards extending its support to Unesco’s initiative, ‘International Decade (2000-2010) for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World’ towards imparting basic values in their lives. Entries for the competition will be judged for creativity, content, technique and efficacy of conveying Human Values by a panel of two judges, one drawn from the community/MOE and one from the organising body, in each of the category and age group.

First, second and third prizes will be awarded in every age group, for each category of schools viz. Omani Government (capital region), bilingual, international, special education, Omani Government (Sohar), Omani Government (Salalah) and Omani Government (Nizwa) for poster making as well as essay writing. In addition consolation prizes will also be given. All participants will be awarded participation certificates. The result of this competition is expected to be announced during third week of May, and the award function will be held during the fourth week of May.

This service initiative of SAI Group is supported with adequate press coverage by Times of Oman Group of newspapers, the creative artworks have been developed by Oxygen LLC (formerly National Publicity and Advertising Co), essay writing and poster papers supplied by Oman Printers & Stationery Co and the events are being hosted by Indian Schools at Al Ghubra, Salalah, Sohar and Nizwa and also the Training Centre, MoE Nizwa.

Young Minds

The objective of this event is to ignite a passion in the young minds to contemplate on human values like truth, peace, love, right conduct and non-violence. This process, though subtle, has the assured effect of warding off negative influences that flood the tender minds of children today as well as transforming them into well behaved individuals.

The Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV) programme which has been the source of inspiration for this event and adopted in 165 countries around the world, focuses on character development in children by helping them to learn and practice universal human values. The efforts and research which the participants joyously undertake by going through many inspiring books, listening to the guidance of their teachers and parents and discussing with their classmates and friends, helps them to contemplate on the human values and reinforce positive thoughts in their sub-conscious minds.

The Serve And Inspire (SAI) Group, who are the organisers of this event comprises a team of volunteers committed to human values in all walks of life. They have been conducting blood donation camps as a group involved in spreading awareness of blood donation and participating in the last two decades), health awareness and education campaigns for the needy.

By Murdu Naik

Times of Oman Reference

Govt grants help Sathya Sai school

Govt grants help Sathya Sai school
Peter Caton | 6th April 2010

SEVEN new classrooms, a learning centre, music room and renovations have been completed at the Sathya Sai Primary School in Murwillumbah with the help of Federal Government economic stimulus funds.

Nearly $1.5 million in building and renovation work was officially opened at the school on Friday by Federal MP for Richmond and Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot.

The project used $850,000 from the Federal Government’s Primary Schools for the 21st Century grants and a $600,000 from the Association of Independent Schools.

A spokeswoman said the school, which currently has about 100 students, is “now equipped to expand to seven single streams”.

Ms Elliot met with students and staff at the school to view the new and upgraded facilities describing the new facilities as exciting for the children and parents.

A week earlier she opened extensions at St Joseph’s Primary School in South Murwillumbah.

“It has been fantastic to see local principals, parents and tradespeople working together to deliver these important projects,” she said.

“Now that they are completed, teachers and students in our local schools will be teaching and learning in the 21st century facilities.”

Ms Elliot said the “Building the Education Revolution” program had delivered more than $110 million to the electorate of Richmond.

Tween Daily News Reference

The responsibility of parents in values education

The responsibility of parents in values education
Published: 2 Dec 2009

Another area in which parents can help is by encouraging children to have their own opinions about things. If a child becomes aware that his views are respected, then that, too, will give him self-confidence. If everything he says is always made fun of, then he soon learns to hide behind the opinion of the majority—in other words, peer pressure.

Competition and the desire to be first: This is another area that requires delicate handling. Competition means someone wins and someone else loses, and we should all be able to deal with both. Help your children find the rewards for doing their best; show your pride in them for making the attempt. Encourage them to focus on their own effort, not on winning. Let them know that you believe effort counts as much as prizes. It’s just as important to be able to say, “I did my best” as it is to say “I won.” Your children will then learn the value of being as good as they can be, rather than in being better than someone else.

Sathya Sai Baba advises children against being over-competitive:

Sathya Sai Baba: “I do not like competition and strife, this cultivation of egoism through prizes and ranking. Do not let your achievements be spoilt by either pride or dejection. Take failure coolly, and take victory equally coolly. Whether in sport or examination, even when you fail do not be overcome by despair.”

Your child will not always get high marks: There is a fine line between encouraging your children to do their best and making them feel that they are failures when they do not achieve the standard of excellence expected of them. Expecting too much of them can be cruel. Feelings of failure are listed as one of the main causes for the shockingly high number of student suicides. So make sure that your child knows that you love him, whether he brings home top marks or not. Children are often lazy; then try and motivate them. They may not have understood the subject because it has been badly explained; then see if you can give them help. They may not like their teacher (or feel the teacher doesn’t like them) so they don’t feel like putting in any effort; try and sort the problem out, but make sure you are helpful, not condemning.

Sometimes, it is just a matter of accepting that your child is not likely to reach the scholarly heights that you had hoped he would achieve, but does it matter? “Nowadays, parents are anxious to see their children become scholars rather than men and women of character. Only those parents are worthy of esteem who prefer that their children should develop good qualities rather than just academic distinction. Education is part of life, but it is not the be all and end all of life. Virtues are the real backbone of life.” They may need to be shown that academic failure is not the end of the world, and that you are ready to help them make a worthwhile life for themselves in other ways.

Compiled by Sai Institute of Education West Indies

Trinidad Guardian Reference

Selfless Seva

Selfless Seva

Selfless Seva
Saturday January 28 2006 17:56 IST
Hiramalini Seshadri

Free healthcare in globally acclaimed hospitals
Time was when the name Sri Sathya Sai Baba conjured up the image of a slight orange-clad figure with an Afro hairdo who performed miracles. Today most Indians view him as a spiritual leader who inspires harmony between people of all faiths; as an ideal educationist who runs totally free educational institutions; as a social worker par excellence who has brought drinking water to the poorest of the poor in Andhra and Karnataka and even to the metropolis of Chennai; as a healthcare provider who has set up globally acclaimed hospitals where everything is free; and as one whose devotees have a passion for “selfless seva”. However, what is amazing is the stupendous global impact he has had, though he has never stepped out of India except once in 1968 when he visited Africa. Broadly, the global activities carried out in the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba can be divided into Educare, Medicare and Sociocare.

EDUCARE: Education enables one make a living; while educare enables one attain the highest in life. Educare helps one realise that one is not separate, but part of creation, which is in turn part of the Creator; and what is more, so is one’s neighbour. Baba’s educare programme which began in the sixties in India through the Bal Vikas project has now reached 180 countries. Three time Thai parliamentarian and ex-NASA scientist, Dr. ART-ong Jumsai, is a pioneer who has dedicated his life to educare; and thanks to Dr Jumsai and likeminded devotees, today there are Institutes of Sathya Sai Education (ISSE) in all continents. The Institutes train teachers in Educare and carry out research on the impact of Sathya Sai Education in the world. There are 52 Sathya Sai schools globally.

MEDICARE: Sai Centres abroad have been running many free clinics and medical camps for over two decades. A coordinated medicare programme has been launched recently under the auspices of the Sai International Medical Committee to reach Sai Ideal Health Care everywhere. The activities include Ongoing Healthcare Delivery, Disaster Relief, Medical Camps and Health Care Services, Disease Prevention and Health Education. In the Far East, Africa, Latin America and South Asia, in partnership with private hospitals, which offer free theatre and ward services, regular medical and surgical services have been available for the needy. An ideal hospice for the terminally ill is functioning in Sri Lanka.

In a major step forward, Sai Organisations are also tying up with governments in the implementation of National Health Programmes; for example, in Kenya the Sai Organisation distributes insecticide-treated mosquito nets to populations at risk of malaria no matter how remote and inaccessible the terrain; and this unique Sai Net programme has generated global interest. In the USA and other developed nations, Sai Medicare targets those who are not insured and have no access to healthcare. In appreciation, the Mayor of St Louis, proclaimed the 11th of September as Sri Sathya Sai Baba Day, last year.

SOCIOCARE: Sociocare programmes done by Sai Organisations in various nations are just too many to enumerate. However the water management project being implemented by the African Institute of Sathya Sai Education (TAISSE) merits mention. The Experts Group Meeting of water experts convened in 2001 by the UN-Habitat, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Sweden International Water Institute at Johannesburg was taken up by the Human Values approach to water management suggested by Victor Kanu of TAISSE. In fact, TAISSE was contracted by UN-Habitat to implement Value Based Water Education in six African countries. Water education is a combination of water literacy — knowledge about water sources, and, Value Based Perception — where water is viewed as a precious resource to be used responsibly for the the greater common good. Waterbodies are viewed as gifts given in trust to us to be safeguarded and passed down to future generations who are to inherit the earth after our time.

By 2004, the project was completed so successfully that UN-Habitat has now requested TAISSE to implement a Value Based Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Education in 12 African countries. Taking a leaf out of Baba’s Anantapur Water Project, devotees at Ndola, Zambia, have also started a small water project. Thanks to it, five poor townships and water-starved for centuries, have potable water today.

Latin America is another region where powerful Sai sociocare projects are on. The Director of a prison at Sensuntepeque, El Salvador, was so touched by the Sai Study Circle meetings in the prison, that he volunteered to do the Sathya Sai Human Values Diploma Course. In Beunos Aires, an ideal home for street children exists with a typical Sai twist to the tale. They used to live in a makeshift cramped place. While gardening one day, the kids found 12 kilos of pure gold in a flowerpot. Their street instincts told them to go for the gold and run away; but after all the EHV they had been taught, they simply could not. They notified the elders who notified the police and finally the courts declared that the gold belonged to the boys. With that money, a lovely home was built.

What is absolutely amazing is this: most volunteers participating in the Sai educare, medicare or sociocare projects abroad have not even seen Baba; but they are all full of love for this gentle eighty-year-old who lives in India, whom they refer to as the Avatar of the age. What is more, they are able to sense and feel his love for them across oceans and continents; and they are transmuted as it were. Of all the wondrous things Sri Sathya Sai Baba has created over the years, this transformation of hearts the world over remains his greatest miracle.

Reference

Sathya Sai Baba School Inaugurated – Arts Club

educare-sai-baba-arts-school.jpg

“Music always enthralls, elevates and produces a feeling of ecstasy. Music is the grand road to mukti,” says Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It is with this in focus that ‘Divinity’, the new arts club of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Educare, Chromepet, was inaugurated recently at the school. The inaugural function, aptly named ‘Sai Sunad’, was hosted by former students of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Puttaparthi.

The three-hour programme was chaired by renowned Carnatic vocalist O S Arun and Sowmiya Madhangopal, renowned Hindustani singer.

The programme commenced with the lighting of the traditional lamp by O S Arun. He later spoke about music and his experiences as a singer. He said music was the easiest way to reach God. Emphasising on its beauty, he stated that it was as serious a subject as science. He sang two popular Sai Bhajans, much to the delight of the large audience.

O S Arun is a postgraduate in music. He was awarded the Kalaimamani award and Music Academy’s Best Vocalist Award. He hails from a family of illustrious singers.

He then distributed prizes to Bal Vikas students who had won the Tamil Nadu state-level music competition.

Later, Sowmiya Madhangopal enthralled the gathering of students, parents, and Sai devotees with nine heavenly bhajans sung in typical Hindustani style.

As a fitting finale, the young Bal Vikas students, who won the Tamil Nadu state-level music competition, rendered five beautiful songs on Sai Baba in various languages that mesmerised the audience.

School principal K Sai Meera proposed the vote of thanks.

The programme concluded with the school’s correspondent P Kumaraswamy performing the mangala aarathi.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Educare is a CBSE-based school situated in the rural environs of Nemilicherry, off Chromepet. It is run on the principles of the Sai system of education. The partially-residential school provides quality education totally free of cost.

Reference

Sathya Sai School Website Launched

The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Educare celebrated in a grand manner the 82nd birthday of Sri Sathya Baba on November 23.

Chief guest S Sethuraman, regional manager, TVS Motor Co Ltd, launched website of the school, www.sssieducare.org This is a milestone in the history of the school.

The website was conceived by K Venkatesh, a former student of the Sri Sathya Sai University, Puttaparthi.

The schoolchildren made a beautiful rangoli of Sri Sathya Sai Baba in the prayer hall. A swing was assembled and decorated by students themselves for Sai Baba. The swing is a special custom in Puttaparthi. In the earlier days, on November 23 every year, Sri Sathya Sai Baba used to give darshan to devotees in the evening.

A Power Point presentation was also conducted depicting photos of Sri Sathya sai Baba’s life and mission.

The programmes were conducted in the form of a conversation between two great sages, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Swami Vivekananda, who witness the birthday celebrations and mark their observations.

It was a treat to see the tiny-tots perform. The chief guest remarked that every programme that was performed was from the heart and the same could be felt throughout the day’s events.

Reference