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

FBISD Earns Seven State Awards For Partnership Programs

FBISD Earns Seven State Awards For Partnership Programs
By: FortBendNow Staff on Fri, Feb 5, 2010
News

The Texas Association of Partners in Education recognized the Fort Bend Independent School District for seven outstanding partnerships at its 2010 Education Partnership Awards Luncheon, held Jan. 26 in Austin.

The TAPE Partnership Awards Program recognizes exemplary educational partners and partnership programs from across the state and FBISD earned seven awards: four crystal (awarded to best of category winners) and three gold (awarded to the second highest scoring nominees).

The 2010 TAPE award winners for FBISD include:

Crystal Award Winners

Barbara Adcock (TAPE Individual Partnership Award, Role Model) – As curator of the Colony Meadows Elementary School Guided Reading Library, Adcock has been involved with the guided reading library since its inception five years ago. The program began with 25 sets of books, and now contains 2,180 sets of books. Adcock developed a library system that not only lists the books, but cross references the books by reading level, title, and genre. She also implemented a computerized system for checking books in and out of the library.

Bobbie Steinert (TAPE Individual Partnership Award, Partnership Advocate) – Steinert has been the FBISD Shared Dreams Program full-time facilitator for the past five years. She works closely with all campus nurses, social workers, counselors and volunteers to help provide clothing and school supplies to children in need of assistance. With the help of volunteers, she opens the Shared Dreams facility three days a week to parents and guardians who qualify to participate in the program.

Briana Gifford (TAPE Individual Partnership Award, Youth Leadership) – While a senior at Kempner High School, Gifford is an active member of several service organizations including the Sugar Land Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, the Keep Sugar Land Beautiful Youth Board and the Fort Bend ISD Youth Advisory Board. In her advisory capacity for these organizations, Briana helps keep the organizations informed about student concerns and issues, and provides important insight in sharing ways to impact on the community.

CVS Pharmacy (TAPE Business Partnership Award, Career Education) – CVS opens doorways to learning for students across the Fort Bend ISD community. Through its internship program, CVS provides hands-on experiences for students, employment opportunities, funding for scholarships and continuing education for interns and pharmacy technicians who want to complete a six-year pharmacy program.

Gold Award Winners

Don McGinty (TAPE Individual Partnership Award, Wisdom) – A retired Shell employee, McGinty, recognizes the need for mentors in Fort Bend ISD not only for at-risk students, but also for those who are academically able. He eagerly volunteers to mentor at his neighborhood school, Quail Valley Elementary. Last year, he mentored three children and visited their school once a week, spending approximately 40 minutes with each child. McGinty gladly provided a positive male role-model for each of these students.

Rolls-Royce Energy Systems, Inc. and Optimized Systems & Solutions (OS&O) (TAPE Business Partnership Award, Academic Impact) – Rolls-Royce Energy Systems, Inc. and OS&S “adopted” Blue Ridge Elementary School and regularly provide numerous levels of support to the students and teachers. Employees from both companies assist the school by providing mentors and volunteers for school-wide programs, especially those geared toward learning science and math concepts. They also provide financial and in-kind donations to the school.

The Saturday Math and Science Workshop – The Satya Sai Organization and Elkins High School(TAPE Community Partnership Award, Academic Impact) – The Sathya Sai Organization partnered with Elkins High School to provide tutorials to students in math and science. The organization provides more than 20 adult tutors (among them are teachers, lawyers, business professionals, college students and a retired surgeon), who work with nearly 90 Elkins students for two hours each Saturday.

Fort Bend Now Reference

Open Campus At Satya Sai Institute

Open Campus At Satya Sai Institute
Category » Bhopal » Posted On Tuesday, January 19, 2010
By Our Staff Reporter

Bhopal: A two-day open campus was held under the aegis of Sri Satya Sai Institute of Science and Technology from January 15 for providing employment to MBA students. The selection process was organised under the aegis of Infotel Communication Pvt Ltd (DNA Info). General Manager of the company Biju Simon and Manager, Human Resource (HR) Amit Chauhan were present in the selection process.

The training and placement advisor of Sri Satya Sai Institute of Science and Technology Anand Manjarkhede, training and placement officer Ravindra Gupta were also present. Around 162 students of MBA 3rd semester from various institutions of MBA, Indore, Bhopal and other places took part in the campus selection.

The officers of the Company informed in detailed to the students about job profile and company. After students were divided into various groups and group discussion was started. Around 51 students were selected for final interview. Total 23 students were selected finally.

Five students from Sri Satya Sai College of Science and Technology, 9 from VNS College (Bhopal), 4 from IPER (Bhopal), 1 from CRIM (Bhopal), 1 from SIRT (Bhopal), 1 from LNCT (Bhopal), 1 from Bhabha Engineering College (Bhopal), 1 from Bansal College were selected finally in the selection campus.

Central Chronicle 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

Education without values serves none: Baba

Education without values serves none: Baba
Express News Service
First Published : 23 Nov 2009 03:27:00 AM IST

PUTTAPARTHI: Higher education should not be pursued with an aim to amass wealth and get power.

It should be done for selfless service to the society, says Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Addressing students at the 28th convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University at Sai Kulwanth Hall in Prasanthi Nilayam today, Sathya Sai Baba said the real purpose of education is served, when the needy are helped and the society gets the benefit. Love is all powerful and with it the world can be won. One should remember that education without values serves none and good conduct is far more valuable than wealth. There is no greater education or love than that of mother’s love. There is also no greater degree than love, he said.

Emphasising that what one learns through education should be used for the good of society, he said the greater meaning of education is love towards fellow humans and all living beings in the universe. Education is physical and educare is spiritual knowledge.

Expressing concern over the increased rat race for the worldly pursuit, he advised students to learn Sanatana Dharmas, which are truth, love and non-violence. “Love is God and it is in every living being. Inner satisfaction is far more worthy than physical satisfaction.” He advised people to reduce the use of cellphone which has become a hindrance to love and respect to people. “Instead of bringing people together, it is widening the gap among them,” he observed.

In his convocation address, Samuel Sandweiss of University of California, who is also the author of ‘Saibaba: The Holyman and Psychiatrist’, ‘Spirit and Mind’ and ‘With Love Man is God’, elaborated on the purpose and value of education in the context of spiritual needs of human beings.

He said education is the very process which lays the foundation for Dharma (Righteousness) by removing ignorance and letting the self inner shine. Citing examples of the earliest universities Oxford, Salamanca and Soroban in Europe and Nalanda and Taxila in ancient India, he said these institutions had deep religious and presumably spiritual foundations. He lauded the growth achieved by Sri Sathya Sai University and its endeavour for social welfare.

Varsity Vice-Chancellor Vishwanath Pandit presented a report. In all, 21 students received gold medals from the hands of Sri Sathya Saibaba.

District Collector P Janardhan Reddy, SP MK Singh, Puttaparthi MLA P Raghunath Reddy and others were present.

Express Buzz Reference

Parents must set the best example

Parents must set the best example

Sai Reflections
Published: 18 Nov 2009

The following words (author unknown) are worth pondering over:

If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness,
he learns justice.
If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love. Praise is good, but don’t overdo it: It has at last been realised that a child does need some encouragement and praise but, like most things, this can be overdone. Give praise when it is due, but don’t shower praise on shoddy work and half-baked efforts. Your child is no fool, and knows perfectly well that it could have done much better, and so loses respect for your judgement if you are too easily satisfied. It is much more helpful to examine the work carefully (whether picture, homework, sandcastle, or anything else) praise the good parts, then give constructive hints on how it could be improved.

In that way, the child will appreciate that you have shown genuine interest, while, at the same time, being encouraged to do better. One needs to build the child’s self confidence, but giving praise where it is not due can produce the opposite result. The child can become addicted to praise and, when it is not forthcoming, a feeling of insurmountable inadequacy then often takes over. The need for ideals: Our aim should always be to prepare our children for life. This means giving them ideals, self-confidence, adherence to values, consideration for others, and the courage to face difficulties. But this also implies that you, yourselves, must practice these virtues. Sathya Sai Baba: “People want happiness in the family, but they fail to lead exemplary lives. The fault lies with both the husband and the wife. If children have taken to wrong paths these days, the parents alone are responsible, as they are not exemplary in their behaviour either.”

Children learn by example: As Sathya Sai Baba says elsewhere, “Parents must set good examples for their children. Parents talk of honesty, but they utter lies in the presence of their children, and even encourage them to speak falsehood. The father, while at home, asks the child to tell the unwelcome visitor that he is not at home! The child is thus taught his first lesson in prevarication by the father himself. There is no use blaming the child if he grows into a social menace.” It is natural for children to imitate the grown-ups around them; that is how they learn. It is no use scolding your child for using some four-letter word that you, yourself, use at every turn. By all means correct the child, but say also that you realise that you must correct yourself as well; you can even ask him to help you correct yourself—he will be very good at it, and you might even succeed in breaking the habit! Sathya Sai Baba: “You should have proper control over your children, but first of all you must have control over yourself. Only when the father is good, can he expect his son to be good. Is it possible for him to keep his son at home if he, himself, roams about as he pleases and goes to places that he should avoid?”

Compiled by Sathya Sai Institute of Education West Indies.

Trinibad And Tobago Guardian Reference


Sai Baba birthday celebrations

The Sai Nilayam at No. 113, New Chetty Street, Colombo 13 will celebrate the 84th birthday of Sri Sathya Sai Baba on November 23. The program will commence at 5 a.m. The inter-religious flag hoisting ceremony will commence at 9 a.m. and special poojas and bajan will be held the full day. A Sai Chariot Procession will be held on the November 22 at 6 p.m.

Daily News Reference