Our Vision in Education
Vicente Hao Chin Jr.
President, Golden Link College Foundation
Human society is but a reflection of countless individuals acting collectively. When individuals are hostile, fearful, unhappy and selfish, then social conflicts become inevitable, leading to crime, violence and wars.
How can individuals be transformed?
Individuals are the products of culture, media, parenting and education. Among these influences, it is in the area of education that something can be done systematically in order to transform individuals to become more peaceful, harmonious, altruistic and happy. No one has significant control over parenting methods, media and culture, especially in democratic countries. What is sad is that the values that prevail in these institutions are commonly those that are perceived to generate more money or income.
Majority of the schools of today around the world, however, are but transmitters of the prevailing values and cultures that have been responsible for selfishness, crime, corruption and violence. They promote the rat race in society that is based on comparison and competition. They instill fear and create greater unhappiness among young people. In Japan and Korea, student suicide is the leading cause of death of young people. The Times of India has reported that there is one student suicide in India every hour.
Why can’t schools be an oasis of joy, excitement, love, challenge, creativity and happiness, instead of being dungeons of fear, bullying, stress and unhappiness? Can’t students become competent and intelligent without the use of threats, comparison and punishment? Is this something doable? Can a school be a loving and happy place and yet produce competent adults?
Definitely. It has been done by pioneering schools that have shown that students need not be threatened and punished in order for them to learn the art of wise living and excel in social competencies. Unfortunately, few are such schools in comparison to the millions of schools that use traditional methods of pressure, coercion, competition and motivation through materialistic values.
Such then are the vision and mission of theosophical educational institutions like the Adyar Theosophical School. They try to nurture well-balanced and wholesome individuals who will also become competent people in their careers. They seek to provide a school culture and environment that encourage the fuller flowering of the inner potentials of the child. This is done in an atmosphere of freedom, love, kindness, creativity and challenge. The students not only grows to become competent. They are also happy people who find joy in helping others.
The more such schools are in the world, the better will the future of mankind be. We must never be deterred by the relative smallness of our efforts. We just need to build the momentum year after year, school after school. One day, a tipping point will be reached and the forces of wholesome social transformation will cascade. It may take a hundred years or a thousand years. It doesn’t matter. So long as it is the right action, then it will bear the right fruit in due time.