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Magazine Web Edition > March 1990 > Publisher's Desk

PUBLISHER'S DESK

Publisher's Desk

Subramuniyaswami, Sivaya



The Global Forum in Moscow was a big success in every way. You will all enjoy the full story in this issue. Global education was an important topic at the Forum. Here are some of the thoughts expressed. Education actually means to bring out what is within, to draw forth from the soul of person, not to impose a dogma but a awaken innate knowledge. The true meaning of education has been forgotten. In most western countries, as student's education level is tested with two primary indicators - math and science on the one side and English language on the other. On the basis of that, they are accepted into the universities. Not a word about social, cultural, spiritual or human understanding, and not a word about values, self-sufficiency, the interactivity of man and world. Nothing. The whole system is based on math/science and vocabulary skills. These are not the essentials. These are peripherals. A college graduate today knows but a very narrow slice of human consciousness the focus of learning. Educators have been focusing on the wrong area, having failed to understand what education really is. Therefore we are not giving our young people the needed tools they need anymore to live in today's world. In Moscow Dr. Seshagiri Rao noted that "If you want to teach little Ashok, then you need to know more about Ashok, the person." That's wise.

Yes, certain basics are still conveyed, but not in school. The family does that education, the tribe does that education, pundits, friends and casual teachers do that - the official machinery dedicated to education does not. And because the tribes and families are being broken up by this western-educated methodology, the world as a unit is learning to be ignorant. Humanity is learning the ability to ignore this planet's beauty and all it has to offer us; to ignore that we are part of this ecology, not a separate entity as part, as the Christian/Judaic religions would have us believe. Humanity is learning to ignore that the animals and fishes and fowls and reptiles and humans all exist as a one life-sustaining whole and should live in love, trust and harmony, as a one force, which we call energy and which pervades us all, avoiding none.

Global education must speak in simple language of the world's peoples. The words should be easily translatable into all the many languages, sentences short and the concepts simple. A complicated concept with long words (meaning four- and five-syllable words) is debatable as to whether the translation is correct or not.

Yes! Global education must include all the peoples of the globe. They must all be heard. Their voices must be allowed to make a difference and to correct the mistakes of the western-educated people. But will they? Will a global education really be effective? Who is the educator and the one to be educated? Those who have perpetrated our planet's destruction still assume the position of the educators of the uneducated.

This global forum is a good idea. But who did we listen to in Moscow? Primarily the scientists and politicians who have helped plunder the planet. We did not hear enough of other voices, other visions. Did we listen to a tribal who can walk into a jungle without food or medicine, eat and live and heal himself year after year? Let's go to the root people of the planet who are thriving and existing as they have done for century after century. Let's be humble. They have much to teach us. We have simple problems on this planet - food for survival, water, air and health care. These four the so-called tribals are well aware of and have under control. Still, they are talked down to. No self-appointed elite group should take the position of speaking down to the tribal, the minority groups or the underdeveloped countries. We must remember that the "underdeveloped" countries did quite well for many thousands of years before industrialization occurred.

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.


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