by Kenzie Wacknov, Maharishi School website
6 August 2022
Message from Nuwaira Pasha--Interim Head of the Maharishi School, Fairfield, Iowa, USA:
I have often asked myself the question: “What is the purpose of education?” Is it to prepare children for jobs and careers which will give them financial security and the ability to procure materialistic comforts or is it about preparing them for ‘life’ which is beyond comforts, materialistic possessions, power, pleasure, contentment and satisfaction?
I have been an international educator in the UK and India for over two decades. Learning, is not just my passion, but it defines who I am. The vertical and horizontal range of experience in international curricula has helped me in understanding teaching and learning requirements globally, enabling me to strengthen academic rigour with a focus to provide holistic education to students of the 21st century.
My experience in the various facets of education has also made me realize the critical role teachers play in shaping young minds and the importance of creating a positive and nurturing environment for learning and unlearning to take place.
2020 has been a defining year for schools all over the world. Every individual, family, state and nation has been through some very gruelling times. However, the blessing in disguise has been that Corona acted as a reminder to each one of us that we need to reset our lives--pause, slow down and re-connect with ourselves. A reminder that there is more to life than money, pleasure and power. A reminder that the greatest gift parents and teachers can give their child, is to help them find a purpose and give meaning to their life.
n a world where change is the new normal, there are three constants in our life: our higher purpose, the vision that flows out of it, and to be future ready. This involves acquiring competencies to re-skill ourselves, competencies to take bold risks, and welcome failures as an unavoidable requirement for success.
I believe that in a post-Corona world, children will need to develop a wide range of life competencies to thrive in a world which is volatile. High performance in academics and standardized tests alone will not suffice for children to be future ready. Education is truly about balancing the education of the Head, Heart and Mind. There has to be a pronounced shift in education of the heart (emotions and competencies) and mind (spirituality), and not the head alone.
I believe that the purpose of education is to prepare a child for life and we must support our students to develop skills, competencies and techniques to deal with the challenges that life may bring.
At Maharishi School, we do exactly this. We prepare our children for life and provide them with a toolkit to enable them to live a more meaningful and purpose driven life. Our children engage in the practice of yoga and meditation twice-daily. They devote time to pause and reset their buttons to experience the quietness within themselves. They learn the mechanics to dissolve stress systematically on a daily basis.
In addition to the practice of Transcendental Meditation the children also engage in a Consciousness Based Education system which focuses on teaching children principles of life. This transdisciplinary course teaches students to identify underlying universal principles of how life is structured and functions. It encourages children to think deeply about life concepts and develop an appreciation and reverence for life.
This is Maharishi School’s version of holistic education. In addition to the wide range of academic and extracurricular subjects there is a strong emphasis on developing the inner self to unlock a child’s potential and creativity.
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