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  Volume 4 - Issue 09 SEPTEMBER 2006


The first Sathya Sai Education in Human Values training in Morocco was held at the American School, Casablanca, on 1 st & 2 nd July 2006, organised by the SSEHV group of the Casablanca Sathya Sai Centre.

Morocco – The ‘ Land of God.’

Before we go into the details of the wonderful happenings at this unique training camp, a little about the country Morocco first, which sits right at the top of the African continent

The full Arabic name of the country (Al-Mamlaka al-Maghribiya) translates to The Western Kingdom. The Arabic influence originated in the 7th century when invasions established Islamic culture in the country. The name ‘Morocco’ many believe, originates from the name of the former capital Marrakech, which means ‘Land of God’.

Morocco now is a constitutional monarchy, which recovered its political independence from France in 1956. The Atlas Mountains run down the backbone of the country, from the south west to the north east and most of the population live to the north of these mountains, while the Sahara desert is to the south. This phosphate-rich nation is the fourth most populous Arab country comprising mostly of Sunni Muslims of Arab, Berber (an ethnic group indigenous to Northwest Africa) or mixed Arab-Berber stock.

Morocco - The Land of God

So it was really a miracle of sorts when a Human Values training camp was held in this part of the world and more than one hundred and twenty teachers attended from fourteen schools.

At the invitation of The African Institute of Sathya Sai Education (TAISSE) Carole Alderman, Director, and Christina Wilson, a French speaking trainer, of the British Institute of Sathya Sai Education (BISSE) facilitated the training. The whole training took place in French.

During the two days of the course the teachers were introduced to the five values and five teaching techniques through lectures, brainstorming, pair-shares and interactive activities – in which everyone participated enthusiastically. A lively, friendly and very positive atmosphere developed. During the first lunch break one participant remarked, “Look teachers from different schools all talking to each other. That has never happened before. This in itself would have been enough."


Human Values training in Progess

The first day had ‘Love’ as the main value and a reflective exercise on ‘Prema’ gave an insight into this value. The participants later had the opportunity to practise delivering an SSEHV direct method lesson in small groups, and then presented the lesson plan to other participants, in larger groups.

On the second day, a presentation on the Elicitation of Values in curricular subjects was given which the teachers found interesting and very inspiring.

Day 2 was given the theme of ‘Non-violence and Not Wasting’ and ways of doing this were brainstormed. The effect of this exercise was evident at the end of the second lunch break, as much less food was left uneaten on the plates. One participant commented, ‘You see, we are already putting the values into practice!’

Teachers at the training
A brainstorming session

Later, the different schools discussed together and reported back on how they would take SSEHV further. Their feedback was extremely positive. Each school said that they would start implementing the programme in their schools the very next day, and they all requested that the UK SSEHV Books 1 & 2 be made available in French and Arabic.

What the participant schools said

Jardin d’Enfants Condorcet

“In relation to the needs of the pupils, we will put the values into practice in our teaching work, in our relationships with our colleagues, in our relationships with the children and with our relationships with the parents.”

Ecole Al ilm Wal Imane Rabat

“We will ask our teaching assistants to practice values with the children for between 2 to 5 minutes in between each lesson and when the children arrive for school we will put on soft music and do relaxation exercises.”

Ets. Assabil Sale

“One lesson a week on human values to be included into the timetable for 30 or 45 minutes.”

Ecole La Palmeraie, Kenitra

“We will introduce it in our programme and it will be among the subjects proposed for the end of the year celebration: For example, songs, dramas, dances.”

The participants were overjoyed by the programme and created poems and songs themselves and recited and sang them to all. They were very expressive in their appreciation of the course.

Reading out Poems
A part of the traning

One teacher remarked, “It is the end of the school year and I was very tired when I came to attend the course yesterday morning, but now I feel refreshed and full of energy. It’s amazing. Tomorrow we start planning the next school year and we will be planning the SSEHV programme into our curriculum straight away.”

Some more reponses

SFB, Maarif

“We will integrate silent sitting into classroom practice and commit to Direct practice once a week.”

Mohammed Ben Abdellah

“We are going to implement these values throughout the whole school year in classes of oral expression and poetry.”

The Orphanage Lalla Hasna

“We are going to assign 3 or 4 children to each teacher, and every morning that teacher will get those children up, help them to get dressed and give them their breakfast and show them love, just like a mother would.”

Institution Al Mansour, Rabat

“We shall implement the Direct method once a week and put up a table of the five values in all the classrooms.”

Ecole El Ittihad Privee

“We are going to reproduce the symbol of the five values on the entrance of the wall of the school and inscribe the following words of Sathya Sai: ‘The end of wisdom is freedom. The end of culture is perfection. The end of knowledge is love. The end of education is character.’ We will talk about the founder of the program and discuss why we should be good citizens and have a good character. We will inform and make the children realise the benefit of practicing each Value and apply values in each situation in everyday school life. We will make projects with these values involving the children with their parents and use one or two values as a theme for the end of the year program.”

Another teacher commented, “Because of the way that society is going, it is really important for our children that they learn this.” Another said, “I have never enjoyed myself so much at work!”

A practical session in progress
The organisers and a few participants

The organisers, Tony and Chitra Mirpuri, and the BISSE trainers were invited to one of the schools the next day. It was a small private school with children from 2 to 11 years. The head teacher’s father had started the school to bring good education at a low cost to children whose parents would not otherwise be able to afford it. “We were delighted to see the values symbol already painted on the school wall near the entrance,” the organisers commented with great jubilation.

After being shown over the school, a meeting was held with the head teacher who said she wanted the school to become a model values school for Morocco. Mrs. Mirpuri agreed to do whatever she could to support them in this endeavour and BISSE agreed to provide educational resources in French.

The organisers and the BISSE trainers

It is very heartening to know how the Sai Education In Human Values is spreading to countries which many might not have even heard of. The ways of God are mysterious. We at Heart2Heart pray that this seed of Sai Values grows into a gigantic tree conferring peace and solace to this Islamic nation.

We are very grateful to Mrs. Chitra Mirpuri, Chairperson of Sathya Sai Centere of Morocco for sharing with us this story.

- Heart2Heart Team

Dear Reader, how did you like this story? Would you like such stories of Sai activities from other countries? Do you have any story to tell us from your country? Please write to us at [email protected]. Please mention your name and country when you write to us.

You can write to us at : [email protected]          
Vol 4 Issue 09 - SEPTEMBER 2006
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