SAES under M/s Pranjal Jauhar, Acharya & Bijlani is undermining the running of Mirambika and aiming to set up an engineering college in its place contrary to the Mother’s principles.
Kittu Reddy has experienced, researched and written as follows about the Mother’s views on free progress education.
The first striking feature of the school in those early days was that almost all the students were children of devotees or disciples, most of whom resided in the Ashram as sadhaks.
Another feature was that the Mother was in constant touch with the teachers and students, guiding the teachers and following the students’ progress. All students and teachers would meet Her at least once a day and the teachers would submit reports about their classes regularly. Sri Aurobindo too was kept informed of all the developments in the school, although he did not interact directly with the school.
We shall now go back in time to see how the Free Progress System was introduced in the school.
It may be noted that the students of the Free Progress System did not have to sit for the quarterly Tests; for the other students it was compulsory.
As already mentioned, in July 1967, many letters were written to the Mother regarding quarterly tests and, as a consequence, these tests were abolished.
“No! It won’t do. It is not to be done that way. You should begin with a big BANG! You were trying to show the continuity of history, with Sri Aurobindo as the outcome, the culmination. It is false entirely. Sri Aurobindo does not belong to history; he is outside and beyond history.
It would be interesting to formulate or to elaborate a new method of teaching for children, to take them very young. It is easy when they are very young. (Clearly, the Mother’s emphasis was on the free progress learning of children and NOT on educating adults.)
To conclude, the points that Mother stressed for our education were:
- Introduce the free system as early as possible to prepare the children for a free growth and flowering
- Take the parents into confidence and make them understand the goals and methods of the new educational system. Their co-operation is indispensable.
- Replace the utilitarian motivation by a higher motivation of seeking for knowledge and fulfilling one’ swadharma. This does not mean that education must not be useful; on the contrary it is most useful when one is true to oneself. (SAES’ utilitarian motivation is evident in its engineering college proposal. Despite overflowing coffers, SAES has told the Court that the engineering college is needed to make financial ends meet and that the ecosystem of Mirambika being used for the free progress integral education of 170 children can be better exploited for such purpose by diploma / degree awarding engineering college for about a 1000 adult students.)
- Rewrite the text books in the light of the true and deeper Indianness and in the light of Sri Aurobindo. This is applicable for India. For other nations, the text books must reflect their deepest inner being.
- The evaluation system prevailing now, based on exams does not give a complete picture of the student; it must be much more broad-based and take the whole personality into account.
- Teachers must try to develop the personality traits already mentioned in this article. Ultimately they must try to come in contact with their psychic being. A teacher must be a living example. (By not standing up to the tyranny of M/s Pranjal Jauhar, Acharya & Bijlani in kicking Mirambika and its children around like in animate useless objects and, in fact by defending the actions of this gang, the Diyas are not setting a good example.)