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SURAJ BHAN D.A.V. PUBLIC SCHOOL
Vasant Vihar, New Delhi 110057
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RETRIEVING CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL VALUES IN INDIAN EDUCATION
Event Start Date : 28/11/2015 Event End Date 28/11/2015

 “Education is not the amount of information that we put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested, all your life. We must have life building, man making, character making, and assimilation of ideas.”- Swami Vivekananda

 

Everyone knows the goal of education is not to create a generation only capable of understanding the language of machines. Education should help us attain sanskara-spiritual culture. It is a sad reality that most of our children do not have sufficient understanding of the strengths of their own cultural backgrounds. Our education system relies almost exclusively on predetermined sets of ‘competencies’ to be acquired through rote memorization, thereby denying our children opportunities to exercise their innate thinking capabilities and their individual creativity.

 

In order to shed light on the importance of a system of education which is rooted in India's culture Dr Beloo Mehra held a session with the teaching staff of  SBDAV   PUBLIC SCHOOL, VASANT VIHAR, NEW DELHI  , on 28th November ‘2015 , where she addressed the theme “Bringing India into Indian Education”. Dr Mehra is conferred a doctorate degree in educational organisation and leadership, university of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. She is also closely associated with Aurbindo ashram. She is also the author of the book called “ABC’s of Indian National Education”.

 

In her presentation, keynote speaker, Dr Beloo Mehra, highlighted the three main aspects of culture- The Soul , which includes philosophy , religion and higher thinking. The Mind- that embodies ‘creativity’ or ‘creative arts’ and self expression which become more meaningful and relevant, especially when we think of the specific context of the needs of children.  The third aspect of culture , as told by Dr Mehra was The Body which includes social , political and economic structures of the society. She went on to explain that the aim of education is to raise both individual and nation into powers of the life and ascending mind and soul of humanity. Contrary to the common belief that the only purpose of education is to gain material achievements and prosperity, the education system in India should create an atmosphere to help students understand that serving the society with a selfless attitude is also of prime importance.


Dr Beloo Mehra emphasized that the world should know that a life of material prosperity well-supported by spiritual goals is very much possible, and that this kind of life alone will enable humanity to realize the dream of peace and happiness while living in the modern-day atmosphere of cut-throat competition and selfishness. She said that spirituality is the master key of the Indian mind and the only way to  learn and teach about Indian spirit is by tapping into this master key of Indian mind – both for educators as well as learners. More the adults will gain self mastery over themselves the better examples they will be for the younger generations and will eventually help them move from tamsic to sattwic state of being. She also stated  that  spirituality means  the age-old values that have always sustained and nourished our society and life .  She stressed that while aiming academic excellence and opening new avenues for students to perform in the world using their full potential and talents, the education system should also be able to help students to have a better understanding about life from a spiritual point of view.

 

Accentuating the essence of Indian culture and spiritualism Dr Mehra  gave the example of a 2m tall statue of the Indian deity Shiva Nataraja,  symbolizing Shiva’s cosmic dance of creation and destruction,  at CERN, the European Center for Research in Particle Physics in Geneva ,hence drawing attention towards the parallel between Shiva’s dance and dance of sub- atomic particles.

 

The presentation was followed by the discussion on  how the process of  learning should be made ‘culture sensitive’ and  The teacher should become a friend and facilitator encouraging different cultural patterns and processes. The role of the textbooks and the manner in which they are used needs to be re-defined. There must be sufficient space for accommodating Indian art forms, practices, places, institutions, festivals, rituals, artifacts, literature, even local riddles and humour. Conscious efforts should be made to ensure that the Illustrations in textbooks reflect Indian culture.

 

The OVERLL session with Dr Beloo Mehra was very enriching and ignited the spark in the minds of the participants to help their students attain spiritual prosperity accompanied by material prosperity.