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Proceedings-5th National Convention of SS Schools

                                       OM SRI SAI RAM

5th National Convention - Sri Sathya Sai Schools - India

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With the Divine Blessings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 5th National Convention - Sri Sathya Sai Schools – India was held at Gitam University, Visakhapatnam from 12-14 Feb 2016. The National Convention started with Vedam Chanting and followed by Bhajan. Students of Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Visakhapatnam have rendered the Vedam Chants and sung the Bhajans.

Inaugural Session (9:00am-11:00am) session-1

 The session started by inviting the dignitaries on to the Dias

1.            Sri S. G. Chalam, State President, SSSSO (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana)

2.            Sri A. Ranga Rao, Convenor, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust

3.            Sri Sathyajit, Director, Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini

4.            Sri Tribhuvan Sachdev, Secretary, National Council, Sri Sathya Sai Schools

5.            Dr. B. G. Pitre, Director, Sri Sathya Sai Schools, Dharmakshetra

6.            Sri Nimish Pandya, All India President, SSSSO

7.            Sri N. Ramani, Vice President- SSSSO

8.            Sri G. S. R. C. PrasadRao, Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust

9.            Sri K. Chakravarthy, Member, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust

10.          Sri Ghanta SrinivasaRao, Hon’ble Minister for HRD, Andhra Pradesh, Chief Guest.

Were invited with warm and respect. Children of primary classes from Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Visakhapatnam, escorted them on to the Dais and felicitated them with bouquets. The convention started with Lighting of the Lamp by the Guests of honour.

State President, National Co-ordinators, Regional Co-ordinators, Principals and Correspondents of Sri Sathya Sai Schools, Office Bearers, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation participated in the inaugural session. State president SSSO AP and TS Sri S.G.Chalam welcomed the delegates and stated the importance of the convention. Sri Ghanta SrinivasaRao, Hon’ble Minister for HRD, Andhra Pradesh, in his key note address emphasized the importance of Human Values in Education and lauded the Sathya Sai Institutions for setting an example with its good governance and for imparting moral and spiritual education. On this occasion, Chief Guest released the following books

1.            Experience to Excel at Sri Sathya Sai Educare

2.            Community Service in Sai Schools

3.            Value Festivals in Sai Schools

Sri G. S. R. C. Prasad Rao, Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, brings out the difference between Sri Sathya Sai Organisations and the other Organisations. He added that Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations works with the dictum “Love All; Serve All” and work with empathy for their own upliftment and Trikarana Suddhi (the union of heart, mind and body). He stressed the importance of spiritual uplift, transformation and heart to heart communication.

Sri Nimish Pandya, All India President, SSSSO, in his key note address quoted “Education Decides the Destiny of Nation”.  He referred to the findings of a survey carried out by IIT, Delhi, which stated the future of society with more young people with high technology, skewed distribution between men and women, more old people, break down of family system and he stated that the solutions to modern day ills, lies in Education with Human Values which are being imparted by Sri Sathya Sai Schools. The aim of education is to prepare the student to conquer his mind and follow his conscience. He added that love in action is Dharma and Dharma alone can bring peace. He stated the importance of human values by quoting Bhagawan “Practice, Practice, Practice”. He further stated that the teacher has to become a role model for the student by practicing human values. He wished that these three days of convention is a Sadhana for getting inspiration and it is an opportunity given to all of us by Bhagawan.

TEA Break (11:00am- 11:20am)

Morning session (11:30am-1:00pm)- Session -2

Dr.B.G.Pitre is the moderator of the session and introduced the speakers and spoke on the theme of the session.

Activities of the institute by Sri Tribhuvan Sachdev

Sri Tribhuvan Sachdev, faculty member of the organisation and secretary, national council, Sathya Sai Schools spoke about the activities of the institutions.

 He felt that Education field is going through trauma. The Satya Sai Schools concentrate on value education. Across India 102 schools are functioning blessed by Bhagawan. Experiential Learning and activity leads to excellence through values taught by Swami.

He narrated a short story of Lord Buddha, after the meditation, a disciple asked him what he gained after this long meditation. He says that he did not gain anything but lost anger, envy, jealousy which are worth losing.

Sri Sachdev explained the meaning of Experience to excel, Educare

Experience denotes experiential learning. Excel denotes being excellent without compromise.

Educare denotes education through value.

He also said that the experiential learning comes from the courses that are offered at Dharmakshetra by Dr.B.G.Pitre.

An audit was done to check how the schools stand in terms of all round excellence and a list of number of schools their level of excellence are given :

Grade

Level

Percentage

No. Of schools

A+

Excellent

90-100

11

A

Very Good

80-89

39

B+

Average

70-79

24

B

Low

60-69

8

C

Review needed

Below 60

4

This audit is done on questions like:

  1. 1.Does the school conduct Jyothi Meditation?
  2. 2.Does the school have assembly (prayer and Bhajans)?
  3. 3.Does the principal communicate with children directly?
  4. 4.Does the school maintain cleanliness?
  5. 5.Does the school celebrate value festivals?
  6. 6.Does the school have experiential learning?

He also informs about the Sai Samachar magazine for all schools which gives the information of the schools so that the schools get motivation and also healthy competition can be maintained.

EHV courses by Sri Umesh Dang, National Faculty, ISSE and State vice president, Chhattisgarh

Sri Umesh Dang spoke at length about different certificate courses for teachers. He observed that the trained teachers leaving schools is of serious concern.73% of the teachers are trained by ISSE but by the end of the year we need to train another 50% due to the number of teachers leaving the school.

Statistics of teachers leaving school as the years pass by are:

0-2 years 37% of the teachers leave the school

3-5 years 25% of the teachers leave the school

6 years and above 38% of the teachers leave the school

He emphasized that whole hearted co-operation from Management, Principals and Teachers is required for the success of certificate courses.

Veda chanting by Sri C.B.S.Mani

Sri C.B.S.Mani explained the importance of Vedam chanting with the examples of students with Swami. He added that Vedam chanting is one of the ways to connect with swami. With discipline and by regular chanting Vedam can be learnt. Swami was saying to the guests who come to Prasanthi Nilayam with pride that from LKG to PhD my students chant Vedam.

Culture is a way of life taught by Vedas in schools. Swami told that even if we don’t understand the meaning of the mantras if we go on chanting, the meaning will come from within and we will be able to experience it. Students from varied backgrounds across the globe are chanting Vedam according to the guidelines of Swami. In the question answer session Ms.Punitha Nehru, Principal, Sri Sathya Sai School, Indore suggested that if Sanskrit is made compulsory in schools Vedam chanting can be successful.

 

 Afternoon Session (2:00am- 4:00am) session-3

Guidance in schools by Dr Kalyani Sundarajan

Mrs.Kalyani Sundarajan spoke about guidance in schools. In these days of external influences, she spoke at length about the importance of non-verbal communication and the early intervention of the teacher for physical and emotional needs of the child. She concluded her session by quoting Swami`s Four L`s : Listening , Loving, Lifting and Leading as the driving forces of guidance.

Listening is the most important part while guiding so that the emotions and feelings of the child can be ventilated. She also demonstrates how a person feels when no one is ready to listen to the speaker. She also shares a china katha.

A man makes dolls and he wanted to present one of them to the Emperor. Emperor was not able to choose among the three dolls. Minister uses the wire and inserts the wire into the ear of the doll. For one doll the wire goes thru another ear and for the second one the wire goes out through the mouth. For the third one the wire does not come out. Minister says that the third one is better as the wire does not come out.

Achiever, Curious, Teaser, Bully, Under achiever are the types of children present in schools. To find them out we need to observe as the child does not express the feeling. It is a non-verbal communication. Spectacles of awareness should be worn on to find the non-verbal communication that the children exhibit. Guidance goes beyond the classroom. We need to be equipped with knowledge, attitude. Swami says “reflection, reaction and resound” happens in children.

A holistic approach is necessary for guidance which has all constructive, development and remedial methods and also addressing the situation or need is also very much essential. Mind body connection is very much necessary. Listening, responding and empathy are necessary for a child. Coping with emotions and having a balance is necessary for guiding the child. There is no separation between Guidance and Educare.  Self-empowerment happens with self-confidence which we can be due to self-esteem.

Guidance and Parenting by Dr Ashok Hota, National Faculty, ISSE

Dr Ashok Hota has stated the importance of parenting in different environments with different approaches which are to be tailor made according to needs. Dr Ashok Hota spoke about the challenges in Balvikas as Children are from heterogeneous socio -economic, socio -cultural backgrounds. Balvikas gurus interact with children for only 1 hr 15 mins. Balvikas gurus are not as educated as school teachers. A questionnaire has been prepared and students have answered them and varied results were brought to light. Guidance of parents is very much important in building the career of the children. Dr Ashok has concluded with a video of swami’s discourse on parenting.

Indian culture and spirituality by Mr M.G.Paranjape, Director Sathya Sai Schools, MP

 Mr M.G.Paranjape spoke on Indian culture. He says that the Indian culture lasted forever and is permanent as that is the only culture which goes in search of God. Mr M.G.Paranjape spoke about the need for residential programs with minimum seven days for students of age group 14-17 on Indian culture and spirituality for making them familiar with the Indian culture. Stories from epics from Ramayana and Mahabharata, the life of saints and sages are to be included in the syllabus to inspire the young generation.

There are three schools in MP. All the three school students come together for 7 days in one year and undergo a course and this course is open for the children. Students with age group 14-17 might not be able to understand Vedas or topics which are heavy unless they are briefed and explained clearly. So when they stay among different teachers it is made easier for them to get an understanding on things. Children after going back home after finishing the course still continue to do prayers and behave well with their elders. Talks on Ramayana, Lord Krishna, and Mahabharata are done during the course. Swami used to conduct such courses for 30 days so that the children will be transformed completely. So it is important that more time is given for such courses to develop good humans.

Observations by Sri.P.Jagannath Prasad Rao, SP, SSSO, Odisha

Sri.P.Jagannath Prasad Rao, SP, SSSO, Odisha made observations on present day needs of Balvikas which are different from 1960-70’s. To address the specific issues related to present day children and the environment Balvikas is a must. The teachers are to be equipped with conceptual, technical as well as human relation skills to address the present day environment.

In the Evening the delegates were taken to Simhachalam, A Holy place of Lord Varaha Nara Simha. A cultural programme was Staged by Students of Sree Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Vizag.

 Dt.13.02.2016 Morning Session (11:30am- 1:00pm) Session -4

Community service in schools by Mr.Manoj Kothekar, Principal, SSSVV, Vijaipur, MP

Mr.Manoj Kothekar shared some of the interesting experiences of the school children in a step by step process in community service. He explained in the first stage how food packets were collected from the children and distributed in the places where it is necessary. Not much involvement was there by the children in the next stage cooking was done in the school. Packing of food was done. Children also learnt cooking food without the help of elders. This service was done 17 times until now. Children also served the food to the needy people and love was shared among them. In addition, students also went to a school of disabled children and woollen clothes were distributed. Blanket Seva was also done by the students. Students also visited an old age home performed Bhajans and offered Arati in the old age home. Students also constructed a house for an old lady. Students also bought tricycles for the disabled people. Students also helped the disabled people to start tea stalls to help them earn their livelihood. 

Physical proficiency and wellness in schools by Mrs.Nagamani, SSSVV, Vizag

 She explained that wellness comprises of a healthy body, a sound mind and a tranquil spirit. Wellness program is a holistic program with health and hygiene, balanced diet, yoga, meditation etc.

Physical fitness is important and students must be given a chance to play games to improve the fitness. Value games which include physical activities can be encouraged.

Rest and sleep and balanced diet are necessary for the children. Satvikahara is most important and 6 hours sleep is necessary for a healthy person .Intramural and extra mural competitions are planned so that they can build up competitive spirit. Yoga and meditation should also be practised by the students to stay hale and healthy.

A Demonstration of yoga and physical activities has been done by the students.

Address by R.J.Rathnakar garu, Trustee, Sri Sathya Sai central trust

Ratnakar garu says that the School education has been an important aspect in Sai organisation.  He said, Bhagawan spent his energetic years when swami was young he concentrated on building schools and institutions. He states the importance of education for an individual as well as for the society. Swami has started and blessed 102 schools and we have 60,000 children in schools across India. Sai mission inspires everyone in their life. Community service is being done in schools only because of swami`s inspiration. Transformation might not happen but sensitization happens which helps us in doing the service. The name Sathya Sai brings us together. There is also a need to strengthen Sri Sathya Sai schools to become the model for other schools. Sri Sathya Sai trust extended support of 25 lakh for 20 -25 schools. He also expresses that not just trough human values but it is also very much required to have academic excellence to stand as a model. Ratnakar garu emphasises on the overall development of the student which enrich the value system across the globe the need to make the student useful to their family and country.

Value songs by Mrs Renu Sundar, National Faculty, ISSE

Mrs Renu Sundar starts with a live demonstration with the help of children of Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Vizag.  She made children and delegates sang value songs with enthusiasm.

 13.02.16 Afternoon session (2:00pm- 4:00am)Session- 5

Value Festivals by Ms Rekha Agarwal, Principal, SSSVV, Delhi

Ms Rekha Agarwal speaking about value festivals says that it is the only way all the Sai schools can come together. The ambience of the school gets transformed when a value festival is hosted. Festival is an effective way to enhance the importance of activities among parents. It is the festival time that bridges the gap between schools. It is also a productive way for sharing ideas. The hosting school needs to take time to make preparations and host the value festival.  She felt that, in 2015 the number of schools hosting the value festivals has reduced.

She describes VALUE FESTIVAL as V- Valuable, A – Achievement, L – Laudable, U – United, E – Effort,

F – For,, E – Energising, S - Sai schools, T – Talents, I – Inspiring, V – Vibrancy, A – Adding, L - Love

She concludes by requesting all the cluster schools to celebrate the value festivals.

English Language teaching project by Mrs A.Kausalya, Principal, SSSVV, Vizag

Mrs A.Kausalya talked about the importance of English in Present day world and introduced her senior English teacher Mrs.Lipi Mithra to talk about the ideas to improve English in Sai Schools.

Mrs.Lipi said that Spoken English is essential for students. English is internationally accepted as an official language and English has great importance in the Global market. It is a foreign language and complicated. So for such a complicated language we will need better teachers. So the teachers of Sai schools need to be well equipped so that they will be able to build up students with good communication skills.

Sai school samachar and early steps to discovery by Mrs Punitha Nehru, Principal, SSSVV, Indore

Mrs Punitha Nehru said that “SAI SCHOOL SAMACHAR” will be encouraging for the teachers and the students. Different activities, news in the schools can be published so that the families of the students and teachers will get to know what they are doing and others are doing. She also requested the teachers to give articles so that the old articles will not be published over and over again. She also welcomes the feedback so that the inputs can make the newsletter better. She also suggested exchange programs to students and also teachers so that they can make their students better.

Address by Sri S.S.Naganand, Trustee, SSSCT

He says that Swami was proud of his students. Swami has empathy for young people. In 1960s a lady from Mysore started a school and persuaded swami to be the trustee of the school. Swami was an epitome of perfection. Swami`s institutions worked clockwise. There have been no agitations, no strikes like all other universities. For last 30 years the institutions have been running in the same lines without any exceptions. He emphasises that perfection is most important as Swami always liked perfection.

 14.02.2016  Morning (8:45am - 10:00am) Session 6

Session started with book release by Sri K.Chakravarthy garu, Trustee. SSSCT

The books released are

  1. 1.In search of true education -Author -  Dr.B.G.Pitre
  2. 2.Human values book for school students -For age group 8-14years - Author- D.Vishnuvardhan Rao

Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini- way forward by Sri Sathyajit

Sri Sathyajit spoke about Vidya Vahini.  Vidya Vahini program concentrates on the proactive needs of schools, teachers and students. It identifies the needs of schools and intervenes to support and bring out incremental changes. Extensive use of technology is also stressed. Also speaks about fellowship program that will be conducted next year. He also stressed on the excellence of Sai schools and should be examples to other schools. He motivated the teachers to work hard and make the Sai schools the best. 

Address by Sri K.Chakravarthy

Sri K.Chakravarthy garu appreciate the hard work and thanked the organisers, teachers and students of SSSVV, Vizag for their hospitality. He adds that the atmosphere has been vibrant which makes the convention comfortable. He wants the teachers to follow the guidelines of Swami. He advised the organisation to conduct this type of conventions in Prashanthi Nilayam. He advised to set up a Centre for value education at Prashanthi Nilayam.  For this Centre he wants a national board constitution. He requested Mrs Kamala Pandya, Dr B.G.Pitre, Sri Tribhuvan Sachdev and Sri Sathyajit to meet and discuss about the modalities to provide the best instruction from the value Centre to the schools. He also said that support would be extended in terms of Finance to the Sai schools. 

Address by Dr.B.G.Pitre

Dr B.G.Pitre stresses on true education which can be given with Educare. He adds that true education can be given only through experiential learning. He says that ordinary people will become extra ordinary only due to their tasks.

Vote of Thanks by Sri Tribhuvan Sachdev

Sri Tribhuvan Sachdev starts his vote of thanks with “china Katha”. He adds that we need to thank God for this and says that the convention was a wonderful experience. He thanked all the delegates one after the other specially, for their presence and participation.

14.02.2016 Valedictory session 10.30-1200

The  Programme started on the arrival of the chief guest Honourable Governor of AP and TS

Sri E.S.L. Narasimhan. After auspicious lighting of the lamp, as a mark of respect, National Anthem was played. Mrs A.Kausalya,   Principal Sree Satya Sai Vidya Vihar, Vizag, welcomed the Hon`ble Governor and the first lady Smt. Vimala Narasimhan and the other dignitaries on to the stage.  Dignitaries present were:

Sri E.S.L. Narasimhan, Honourable Governor of AP and TS.

Sri H.J. Dora, Former DGP Andhra Pradesh Govt.

Sri S.G.Chalam, State President-SSSO (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana)

Sri A.Ranga Rao, Convener-Sri Sathya Sai central trust

Dr.B.G.Pitre, Director, Sri Sathya Sai Schools, Dharmakshetra

Sri Nimish Pandya , All India President-SSSO

Sri K.Chakravarthy, Member of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust

Sri R.J.Rathnakar, Trustee- Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust

Sri Amitkar, Commissioner of Police, Vizag

Address by Sri Nimish Pandya

Sri Nimish Pandya welcomed the Governor and all other dignitaries. He stated that transforming the self improves the world and as followers of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba we have to practice it. Swami said that his children should become master minds.  Bhagawan was so modern that the most modern technology is being used in Sri Sathya Sai Education system. He also makes it clear to make Sri Sathya Sai schools the hallmark for all the schools in the World. He also informs that Three and a Half lakh children are trained under Balvikas in a non-formal mode. He also added that there are 102 Sree Sathya Sai schools and they have been blessed by Swami and will still be blessed.

Also informs about Vidya Vahini that it is giving support to all the village schools and help them in education and will do it to ensure that Bhagawan is happy. 

Address by Sri E.S.L.Narasimhan

Sri E.S.L.Narasimhan said that by coming over to the convention he is indeed blessed. He owes much to Bhagawan and to Sri H.J.Dora (former Inspector General of Police) an ardent devotee of Swami and his mentor at the early stages of his service at his young age. He felt blessed for having first posting as Police Officer at Anantapur where Swami Resides. He recollected his experiences and shared the experiences of his kith and kin with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and felt how blessed they are to be associated with Swami.

He applauded the services of Sri Sathya Sai Organisations in the field of education and health. He quoted the ancient Dictums of Indian culture and the essence of Education as, “Satyam vada-Dharmam chara” , “Matrudevo bhava, Pitrudevo bhava, Acharyadevo bhava ,Athidhidevo bhava ”He stressed the need for inculcating these values into education and applauded the effort of Sri Sathya Sai schools which are  imparting value integrated education.  He suggested and wished if each student from the school  influences 10 more students,   the  society will be benefited at large. He stated that real Bharat lives in rural India and advised the organisation to take up educating the rural children and imparting human values is of great benefit to the nation.

He wished the organisation great success with the divine blessings of Bhagawan Baba.

The session concluded by giving Harathi to Swami and mementos were presented to all the Guests.

The 5th National convention thus concluded successfully.

                                                           JAI SAI RAM

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