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  Volume 3 - Issue 12
DECEMBER 2005
 
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FIJI GOVERNMENT MINISTER HAILS THE SATHYA SAI SCHOOL IN FIJI

 

 

On the 7th of November, 2005, the Fiji Daily Post (a Fijian National Newspaper) in an article entitled, “The School with a Difference” movingly declared -

“Do you believe in a Fiji where there is no violence, hatred, ethnic division and crime? Or have you lost that hope already - a hope of living in our country like we used to be in the early seventies and eighties? Be rest assured because there is still hope for our children to bring back that life we all know. The life that made the late Pope John Paul II to describe Fiji as 'The way the world should be'.

If you need aspirations for a better Fiji for the future then try and visit the Sathya Sai Primary School located near Matawalu Village on the outskirts of Lautoka.”

This is the media's opinion on the very successful Sai School in Fiji. It was a grand affirmation of the good work diligently going on in a small corner of Fiji for five years now.

For those unfamiliar, Fiji is a group of 300 south Pacific islands (100 inhabited) renowned for their coral reefs and natural beauty.

 

 

The Fiji Daily Post lauding the Sathya Sai School in Fiji - 7th November, 2005



The ethnic mix in Fiji is comprised of Melanesians (51%) and Indians (44%) and was a land of peace until some community based conflicts a few years ago marred the island’s previous peaceful ambience.
And yet by God’s Grace light always exists to show the way forward - light in the form of human values taught in the island’s Sai School.

About The School

The Sathya Sai School in Fiji was founded in 2000 and accommodates 136 children from various ethnic and religious backgrounds, who come from the nearby farming communities and village. The school has nine teachers, three of them trained at the Institute of Sathya Sai Education, Thailand.

The children imbibe Swami’s teachings on human values, integrated into the Fijian national curriculum. Every morning the day starts with meditation. Then follows inspirational stories derived from the lives of great men and then everyone joins in congregational singing. All this enhances the group feeling of unity and togetherness.

 
   
One of the School Buildings...

 
Group Meditation
Community Integration

Mr. Brij Bhan Singh, the deputy head teacher, told the Fiji Daily Post,

"They sing songs about good virtues to fill them with positive thinking because when they enter their classrooms, they are filled with love and this makes their discipline in class very good. The children that started off this project in 2000 are in Class Six now and we can see the changes in them. They are more disciplined and you hardly see any disturbances in class. Everyone respects one another because everybody speaks the same language and that is love.”

He later told Heart2Heart, “One of our mothers was very moved to compare her two children, one of whom goes to another school and one to the Sai School. With tears in her eyes she related that the behaviour of the child who goes to the Sai School was so markedly better than her other child.”

 
Excellent Facilities...
Beautiful classrooms...
 
Art inside...
And Fun Outside...

 

Minister of Works Praises the School

On November 2nd 2005 the school was visited by the Minister for Works, Government of Fiji, Mr. Savenaca Draunidalo, who gave glowing testimony to the school.

Many Fijian national dailies carried stories on how the Minister expressed immense happiness at the unique educational philosophy of the school and also pledged support to the school on behalf of the government of Fiji.

Mr. Draunidalo said that other Fijian schools should learn from the Sai School and that it is a model of true reconciliation and unity for the country.

It is interesting to see the connection between the flow of government support and human values in that Mr. Draunidalo said his commit­ment towards the development of the area's infrastructure was cemented after learning of the principles behind the school's development.
Mr. Savenaca Draunidalo, Minister of Works, impressed with the Sai school,
Fiji Daily Post, 3rd Nov, 2005.
   

The Philosophy Behind the Sathya Sai School in Fiji

In an interview with the Fiji Times the chairman of the Sai organization in Fiji, Mr. Vishnu Deo, mentioned -

“When we purchased the 36 acres in 1999 the Sathya Sai organization was determined to develop a school which would make children realize the true benefits of human values. We believe that by teaching the children human values we will be able to rid Fiji of the many social problems plaguing the country. Providing free education to all students of Sathya Sai we hope that the lessons learnt within our gates will be passed on to their parents and friends.”

(Fiji Times – Nov 5th 2005 )

Mr. Deo also emphasized that “This school is not a religious school but a spiritual school.

 
Group Singing...
Spiritual Chants....

Unstinted Support to Sai School

It is also noteworthy that the Fiji Times carried Swami’s message on education being for life not for a living in the opening of their article on the Sai School:

Learning how to live your life in the proper way is the whole purpose of education. But schools in Fiji seem to have moved away towards a greater emphasis on teaching students ways to earn a living.”

(Fiji Times – Nov 11th 2005 )

Fiji Times, 3rd November, 2005
Fiji Times, 5th November, 2005

It is encouraging that the Fijian press has not only brought attention to this worthy project but has also unequivocally supported the ideals which Swami is promulgating.

The Works Minister mentioned that he had learnt a lot about human values and how it affected children’s lives simply by observing the students of the school. He confirmed that he would personally take steps to ensure that the Ministry of Education recognised the efforts of the Sai Sathya Service Organization and the Sathya Sai School in helping create a better Fiji.

He also promised to have the road to the school tar-sealed and provide proper water supply to the school replacing the current bore-well.

 

Educare….Transforming The World

The Sai School has just celebrated Swami’s birthday with 400 people, many from the local community and with a two page supplement in the Fiji Times.

It is heartening to see how Educare – the Sai philosophy of education - is so active even in a remote island tucked away in the Pacific ocean. Slowly but surely, the world is moving towards a greater appreciation and understanding of the eternal and universal values of love and service and integrating these into educational curriculum for children. This, Swami has often said, is of paramount importance for the new world order of love and peace to dawn.

- Heart2Heart Team




 
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Vol 3 Issue 12 - December 2005
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