True education does not begin and end at school. It is a life-long learning process. Parents and teachers lay the basis for this process and need to be supportive of their complementary roles by nurturing the same principles in school and at home. Sathya Sai explains this with the example of a child riding a bicycle. The rear wheel makes the bike move, whereas the front wheel provides direction.
Home and school are both training grounds where children have many opportunities to learn and practice what they learn. Parents and teachers are a model to learn from and look up to, at all times. Their capability to cooperate is thus essential for the child’s development. When parents and teachers are both involved in a value-based development process, they can transmit high ideals to children.
"Children are like wet cement, whatever falls on them makes an impression” said Haim Ginott. A dramatic statement when we think of how many things “fall on” and influence children today. It is not only teachers and parents who affect children, but their surroundings, including television and internet, films, videos, video games and cell phones, naturally, their peers. Most students are under tremendous pressure to pass examinations and succeed in their studies. Lacking of an educational process geared to character development, they grow with a false set of priorities and values. They get “bigger and taller” without learning how to cope with their emotions, how to relate to others, and to the world in which they live. Most children learn that being successful means getting a good job and earning plenty of money and, except in some cases to consider being of service to others is beyond their ken.
Education calls for the commitment of the overall community, as its aim is to achieve societal objectives and to improve the quality of life. The main parties contributing to the success of an educational process are parents and teachers. Home and school are both training grounds where children have many opportunities to learn and practice what they learn. Parents and teachers are a model to learn from and look up to, at all times. Their capability to cooperate is thus essential for the child’s development. When parents and teachers are both involved in a value-based development process, they will transmit their findings, their determination to improve and their taste for learning to children.
At the heart of SSEHV are the teachers. They not only expose children to academic knowledge, but convey moral, ethical and spiritual knowledge as well, while encouraging their pupils to discover their hidden potential and to endeavour to bring it to light. It is in this spirit that SSEHV teachers support children and young people in cultivating aptitudes and a variety of skills, but also noble ideals.
Teachers who wish to adopt a value-based educational programme and, specifically SSEHV, need to necessarily live according to the values of the programme. Human Values cannot be taught from behind a desk. No book or lecture can explain them. When the teachers are coherent with the values taught, they assume authority and gain respect. When they are respectful, caring, observant and good listeners, the pupils will become appreciative to these same virtues and learn to express them in every act of their own.
“Teachers are like a water tank and students are like taps. As the water in the tank, so will the water be at the tap. If the water in the tank is pure, the same will reach the taps.”
~ Sathya Sai
The image of parents and teachers caring for the young in the same way that gardeners care for their flowers stands the test of time. The art of gardening thrives on care, patience and perseverance, self-discipline, trust and vision. These same qualities are also necessary to rear and educate a child. Parents and teachers provide limits, lovingly but firmly when necessary. Children who grow up in an atmosphere of harmonious co-working, based on a scale of values that are the natural manifestation of the human heart, will become self-confident and responsible adults and active members of society.
The influence of parents on children’s minds is the primary and predominant influence on their personality and behaviour patterns. The early years of life are the most important for character development. Therefore, the role of parents is vital. Parents have the responsibility to be the prime role models for their children. Setting a common pace at home and in class will enable the children to march forward both at school and in their private life. Parents who are exemplars for their children will succeed in sharing the essence of Human Values through their own life.
“Children are generally good by nature and willing to do their duty and shine well in studies. One cause of their waywardness and occasional indiscipline lies with the elders who set poor examples of truth and self-control.”
~ Sathya Sai
Introduction to the Sathya Sai Education in Human Values programme, known also as Sathya Sai EDUCÆRE.