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October 9, 2011
A breakthrough for
On a beautiful island of the Indian Ocean, Hinduism continues to show remarkable accomplishments. This time, it is the completion of a quality teacher training course.
How shall we ever get the children interested in their faith? is a question Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami has given much thought to. For several years, he conferred with an experienced Mauritian Hinduism teacher, Rajen Manick. And in 2009, after meticulous planning, they launched a course to train adults to teach Hinduism to children.
Dedication. Today, after 1.5 years of intense training and practice, all 18 trainees have graduated, are now teaching and reporting good response from the children. It was a demanding stretch of time that required uncommon perseverance. But enthusiasm remained high and, in the end, all succeeded brilliantly. Not one person dropped out.
Experience. It was a masterful idea to require the trainees to teach children from the outset and all through the course. It gave them immediate experience, and caused the classes to sparkle with the questions, challenges, discoveries and insights they shared. The tougher questions were forwarded to the satguru for elucidation.
A paperless course—well, almost.The trainees received most of their course material computer to computer and, by graduation day, their laptops were brimming with a wealth of teaching materials, including enough videos, slide shows, images and stories to delight children for a long time.
Clarity. Using Himalayan Academy and Hinduism Today texts and websites throughout the course, trainees learned to articulate the teachings in simple ways that would resonate with children. Complicated texts requiring commentaries or laced with violence or other problematic elements, were avoided—which went a long way in making the subject straightforward and attractive.
Teaching with love. A most rewarding element of the course was drawn from the booklet, Parenting with Love. It summarizes Positive Discipline, an enlightened method of relating with children based on attitudes of respect, love and trust that bring the best out of child and adult alike. Here, the trainees learned how to be confident and effective teachers (and parents), turn difficult situations into positives and keep the kids well behaved and happy. How much was that worth?
And they're just getting started! Many graduates are continuing their training in one way or another, to strengthen themselves inwardly and enhance their performance as teachers. Some do regular sadhana, others deepen their study through Himalayan Academy's Master Course.
So good, it's hard to believe. "Mauritian Hindus are becoming more conscious of their heritage," reports Mrs. Premila Manick (pictured above). "More and more are seeking knowledge they can put into practice. The movement has been building for decades and it is mostly driven by the youth. The spirit is spreading and is uplifting other communities and faiths as well. It has become a national event." Where else have you come across such unbelievably good news?
Main text used in
Mauritius' teacher training:
What Is Hinduism? is the 416-page incomparable resource on the marvels of Hinduism. It is a compilation of 46 of the best educational articles produced by Hinduism Today's editors over 20 years. Read an account of What Is Hinduism? being used in the field.
What youth are saying about What Is Hinduism?
- it is clear and succinct
- hits the nail on the head
- answers our questions
- explains all we never understood
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