~Sathya Sai Baba (25th September 2000)
ABOUT Sathya Sai Spiritual Education / EDUCARE:
The roots of Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) program can be traced from the Bal Vikas program started by our Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in the Sixties. Women, usually housewives, were the Gurus and once a week they would meet with neighbourhood children sent to them by willing parents. These sessions usually included value based stories, bhajan singing; discussions on how to tackle anger / envy, and other problems in everyday life; and enacting plays that represented their Bal Vikas program. As of this day there are over 200,000 SSE students all over the world. Sai Baba said Bal Vikas alone is not enough for this Century and neither is Human Values alone. He combined them both and named it as Educare. Bhagawan said that Bal Vikas should run under the umbrella of Educare.
This SSE program, with suitable modifications, was made an integral part, when the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization started non-formal education programs for children. The main thrust of the Sathya Sai system of education is molding the personality of the student, keeping in line with Sai Baba saying, ”The end of education is character; Education is for life and not just for a living.” The watchwords are cooperation and harmony.
How is the Educare Implement?
The Educare is implemented in Tri-Partnership –
- Parents – the primary child trainers and prime players in the child’s life;
- Gurus or SSE Teachers – Volunteers who set examples for the children with their committed living on the principles laid by our Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba; and
- The Child – our future.
What does our Educare program consist of
Educare is comprised of three way approach / components:
1) Direct Approach – In class sessions / activities, which includes:
- Silent Sitting / Meditation
- Thought for the Day using Sai Baba’s Quotation or quotes by other great leaders
- Story Telling
- Classroom Activity – quiz, role play
2) Indirect Approach – based on the principle that “Life is a School” and to broaden the Direct Approach.
- Applying knowledge gained in class in everyday life – Ceiling on Desires and helping the needy, Christmas Toy
- Drive, maintaining Sai Spiritual Diary for self evaluation purposes.
3) Extra-Curricular Approach – show case the students’ talent – dance, drama or plays on important occasions, participating in Tree planting, Blood Donation Clinics, visiting Senior homes on special occasion to sing or play a drama.
The purpose of Educare program is:
- To conduct Sai Spiritual Education enabling the children to bring out their inherent divinity within them. This program caters for all races and allows them to mould, to be useful to themselves, their families and to society.
- To develop in the children, a sense of belonging to the Sai Community.
- To be a foundation for the Teen Youths and Youths to evolve and become future leaders of Sai Organization and society.
- To maintain a reference library with reading materials / books, Sai Publications, journals and CDs.
- To organize training / refresher courses for SSE Gurus.
- Working hand in hand with other wings of the Centre to organize public events/celebrations that will help promote Human Values in society.
- To perform and implement other necessary activities for the expansion and intensification of Educare programs. With the Divine Blessings of Our Sai Baba, Educare Wing of Sathya Sai Centre of Scarborough caters to more than 700 SSE children. This program is run effectively with help of more than 100 Gurus, Assistant Gurus, Youth Assistants and Parent Helpers.
- Participate in class based seva activities outside of the center such as food drives, senior home visits, etc
Dyanamic Value Parenting
“The home and the family is the basic social institution everywhere in the world. When the home improves, the whole world will be better. ”
– Sathya Sai Baba
According to Swami, parents are the first teachers of a child and have the primary responsibility to mould the character of children. Children spend 85% of their time in the home and community, so parents play the greatest role in their development and are the major influence in the development of a child’s character.
An integral part of the Educare Program is the Value Parenting workshop for parents. Children are inherently good; Parents are feeling the impact of declining values , as new negative influences exposed by the media, tv, and the internet challenge their children who find it difficult to make the right choices.
All of society’s problems arises from negative values learned in the in the environment in which the child grows. If the values acquired by the young children are positive, they later favorably influence the cultural, moral & spiritual life of the community, the nation and the world…
The goal of Workshops for parents is to raise the parents’ self-awareness to realize that they are responsible in their homes for training their children, from the day they enter the world, along the right lines as much as the schools and the Governments are responsible to provide a proper system of education
The Objective of Workshops is to provide the parents with the necessary tools & skills to integrate the human values of love, peace, truth, right conduct & non violence into their basic character and the character of their children, which would then enable them to face effectively the present day parenting challenges and to enable insights to unlearn, unhealthy parenting practices.