Seminar on “Education in the Light of Theosophy and Present Day Challenges” – 14-15 March, 2015

Filed in Seminars by on March 6, 2015

 

Venue: The Annie Besant Hall, Theosophical Society, Kamachha, Varanasi-221010.
Time: The two-day Seminar will commence with the Inaugural Session on 14 March at 9 A.M.

Concept Note

The Theosophical Society from the very beginning of its arrival in India was devoted to the education of young Indians in the spirit of the motherland. The Founder President Colonel Olcott started the Olcott Harijan Free schools for the education of the Panchama outcastes and country-wide Hindu Schools, Boys’ Aryan Leagues and libraries and published a journal for Hindu boys. When Annie Besant came to India in 1893, she was deeply moved by the existing condition of education. The education at that time was driving the young  Indians  away from their own philosophy and culture. They were being led to agnosticism and materialism.

Annie Besant lectured throughout India to kindle in young minds interest in Hinduism. When in 1898 the Central Hindu College with collegiate school was started, the aims of the new College were clearly stated. The College would be a religious secular college teaching the deep truths of the Hindu religion and sought to unite the best of Hindu culture with the best of Western principles of education: “(a) College and school wherein students shall be taught to live and think as true Hindus while assimilating all that is best and highest in European learning, so that their lives may be moulded from the very beginning … as only they can be by the Theosophical Society.” The successive Presidents of the Theosophical Society have steadily carried forward the work in the educational field in the light of the ideals of education set by Annie Besant.

Because of historical, political, cultural and other diverse complex reasons knowledge creation in India has taken a back seat. Ironically, in spite of having immediate access to a large body of knowledge, Indians are largely consumers rather than producers of knowledge. Indian Universities do not figure in 200 top Universities of the world. Either the parameters of evaluation are misplaced or education in India is totally in a confused state.

Unemployable graduates in huge numbers are being churned out of educational institutions without any scope for building up thinking capabilities. Cramming is encouraged to pass examinations mechanically. As soon as the students come out of examinations they forget what they have memorized. Then ever proliferating coaching centres and professionalization of education further add to the woes.

There are glaring anomalies in the present day education system in India.   The central role of education in India brings out and highlights the contrast between the country’s neglect of school education and the massive expansion of higher education. On one hand expansion of higher education has resulted in extraordinary flowering of information technology and related developments in the country. On the other, underdevelopment of Indian school systems, particularly among the disadvantaged groups and socially backward regions has had devastating effects. The child who is deprived of schooling or goes to a school with dismal facilities (including the high incidence of absentee teachers) not only deprives him or her of the opportunity but adds to the massive waste of talent in the country.

Invitation

You are most cordially invited to participate in the Seminar and enrich the deliberations.

Address for Communication

Sri S. Sundaram
General Secretary
The Indian Section of Theosophical Society
Kamachha, Varanasi-221010
Telephone: (0542) 2397340
Email: theosophy_vns@yahoo.com