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

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

Teachers To Inspire, Lead By Example

Teachers To Inspire, Lead By Example
11 Jan 2009, 0000 hrs IST, TNN

CHANDIGARH: An Awareness workshop for teachers on education in human values organised here on Saturday by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Haryana and Chandigarh at Manav Mangal School, Panchkula dwelled on the importance of human values in education and how to make educators aware of these values.

Ashok Yadav, administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) set the tone of the workshop when he said that human values were eternal and lasting while morality kept changing.

More than 500 teachers present in the auditorium cheered him when he quoted one example after the other from daily life incidents to bring home the point.

We should act more as a comprehensive teacher than confining ourselves to be a subject-only teacher. Try to be inspiring and corrective, than be fault-finding or complaining, Yadav exhorted.

He asked teachers to be role models for their students so as to inspire them, motivate them and to lead them by example. Be innovative, keep abreast of happenings around and understand the students well as every child is special and can do wonders in future, he said.

Regional officer, CBSE, DR Yadav, who was the chief guest at the workshop, blamed both parents and teachers for the present mess in the education system.

It was unfortunate that while teachers were taking to the profession not by choice but by default, parents too had become very intolerant and were always complaining about the behaviour of teachers, he said.

He strongly advocated that teachers deserved to be treated better by the society and deserved better wages and improved living conditions too.

Times Of India Reference

Focus On Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Learning

Sri Sathya Sai

Sri Sathya Sai

Focus On Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Learning
A parable often retold by Sri Sathya Sai Baba is the story of a little boy who tore up his father’s world map into bits. While the father was furious, the boy decided to make amends and starts putting the pieces back in place to stick them up. Even as he puts in all his efforts he fails to put the world together again. Then he notices that on the reverse of the human body; a nose here, an ear there, a foot here and an eye there… and then an idea strikes him. He reverses all the torn pieces and puts the parts of the human body together so that they form the complete picture of a man. Then he turns the picture to have the whole world going into pieces; the only way to make the world united is by making each human being a wholesome person. There are no other short cuts to it.

It was precisely with this aim that Sri Sathya Sai Baba, revered as a world teacher, began his educational mission in 1969 with the establishment of a women’s college at Anantapur. Over the past three decades, the mission has grown to include a deemed university (the Sri Sathya Sai University) under which come the Anantapur campus, the Brindavan campus of the Sri Sathya Sai Arts and commerce college, Whitefield and the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL) at Puttaparthi itself, besides a dozen schools and colleges elsewhere in India and abroad following the Sathya Sai system of education.

The Ministry of Education in Mauritius, has adopted the Sathya Sai system of education. Likewise educationists in Zambia, U.K., Thailand, Brazil and many other countries around the world have taken up this programme entitled “Education in Human Values” (EHV).

EHV Programme
Historically the EHV programme has its roots in the Bala Vikas programme started by Sri Sathya Sai Baba in the Sixties. Women, usually housewives, were the Gurus and once a week they would interact with children sent to them by willing parents. These sessions usually included retelling stories from the puranas and bhajan singing; discussions on how to tackle anger, envy and so on; enacting plays on nature, conservation etc.

This EHV programme, with suitable modifications was made an integral part of the curriculum when the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation started educational institutions; and with the establishment of the Sri Sathya Sai University of which Baba is the Chancellor, the EHV programme has blossomed to fullness.

Two thirds of a student’s education take place outside the classroom; therefore to ensure that there is no dilution of the EHV programme, these institutions are strictly residential.

Admission to the institutions is based only on merit; and beyond the primary school stage, there is segregation of the sexes; no fee is collected; even hostel accommodation is free; the students only pay a nominal sum for food. Except during vacations when they are sent home, everyday is a working day; even festivals and holidays are converted into learning opportunities.

Academically speaking, these institutions compare with the best in the world in terms of qualified faculty and facilities; besides, classes and examinations are held very studiously. Naturally, the results are enviable and many of the alumni are scholarship students with the CSIR, Indian Institute of Science and so on.

Sports and games also get pride of place. But the main thrust of the Sathya Sai system of education is on moulding the personality of the student, for Baba says, “The end of the education is character; education is for life and not just for a living.” The watchwords in the Sathya Sai institutions are cooperation and harmony. Discipline, orderliness and patience needed for this are assiduously cultivated.

I asked an old student how this was achieved. She smiled and said; “Standing silently and waiting patiently for one’s turn—be it for a bath, breakfast, games or class and back; well, this disciplined routine itself is a great teacher!” Time management is another concept learnt by practice. There are no holidays to laze around; no whiling away over a pack of cards; no watching the idiot box; no gossiping. A key factor that ensures the success of the programme is that the teachers lead from the front.

Practical training in living together as a community is imparted by a self reliance programme. Although there are cooks, electricians, plumbers and so on at the hostels, the running of the mess, cleaning of rooms, maintenance of hygiene, electricity and water supply maintenance, keeping music equipment and sports equipment in good condition — all these activities are done by the students. A history student may thus learn how to change a fuse; a literature student may learn how to take care of overhead tanks; a physics student may learn how to cook and so on. Within one hour, five hundred students eat noiselessly in a mess and leave after all the plates and glasses are washed.

EHV is infused into the teaching of academic subjects as well. That products from trees are used in the manufacture of perfumes; this example, is converted into a fantastic EHV opportunity when the social studies teacher says:

“Look at the mango tree—you throw stones at it and yet in return it gives you delicious mangoes. And as for the sandalwood tree — it imparts fragrance even to the very axe that fells it. See their spirit of sacrifice! That is what we too should cultivate.:

The biology teacher while teaching about bacterial diseases explains how the loss of pain sensation leads to the mutilation of hands and feet in leprosy patients; as a spin off, he adds “So pain and suffering also have beneficial role on life.”

The chemistry teacher while teaching about subatomic particles says “Just as electrons exist unseen in all matter, living or nonliving, so does divinity exist unseen in all things.” Another facet of the EHV programme is the awareness module. Adolescence and youth are biologically explosive times when hormones race thorough the system and cause violent emotions and feelings. The awareness programmes help students understand themselves better. Fear, ambition, success, failure, inferiority complex, birth, marriage, death—students thrash out all these issues with teachers; often the Chancellor too participates and guides. For a practical exposition, the epics of various religions, the lives of saints and the scriptures of various faiths are also studied. In these days of communal and sectarian strife, the message clearly sent down in the Sathya Sai system is; there is only one religion—the religion of love; only one caste—the caste of humanity; and only one language. The language of heart. The students live this precept out, for the festivals of all religions are celebrated. A student of this system is equally at home singing Christmas Carols, chanting the Vedas and reciting the Suras of the Holy Koran.

An in-depth exposure to Indian culture and spirituality is another exercise that contributes to the success of the EHV programme. Be it Adi Sankara, the Sufis, Buddha, the Thirthankaras or Gandhiji, the students are exposed to everything; and to make the exercise more meaningful, the lessons are driven home through mime, theatre, plays and concerts. Fine arts are also given great importance; for it is art that uplifts and refines man. At the Puttaparthi campus, on every Tuesday, the boys have a fine arts session, aptly named “Saama,” when everything ranging form Carnatic music, Kathakali, Bachn’ Beethoven, and tribal music dance are demonstrated and discussed.

The flagship of the Sathya Sai university is the MBA course. Total quality Management and Re-engineering, the mantras of modern management schools are suitably modified here. TQM translates as “Total harmony in the quality of thought, word and deed” and RE as humility combined with co-ordination of head-heart and hand for without the former one would not accept the need for change and benchmarking; and without the latter the change would never take place. The cold, market economics usually taught at business schools acquires the warmth of compassion and human values at this institute.

Excerpted from an article by
Dr. Hemamalini Seshadri
The Hindu