As part of Sri Aurobindo’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations, Institute of Human Study and Sri Aurobindo International School, Hyderabad organized Aurovidya Seminar, a 2-day workshop plus seminar exploring the integration of New Education Policy 2020 and Integral Education as envisaged by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. This intensive program was scheduled to be held on January 8th and 9th at Champak Hills, Jangaon near Hyderabad.
Dr. Beloo Mehra from AuroBharati was invited to present a 4-hour workshop in the area of Vital Education, focusing on the character development aspect of education. Over the past few weeks, Dr. Mehra collaborated with an AuroBharati resource person, Ms. Jayashree Ashok, the founder-director of Creative School, Bengaluru to design the workshop titled “Cultivating Character and Inner Beauty through Arts in Education.”
But due to the ongoing Covid/Omicron situation, two days before the date of the seminar it had to be postponed keeping in mind the safety considerations of all the participants and presenters traveling from various places.
However, a 4-hour curtain raiser event was held online on Saturday, January 8th from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM. All the presenters were asked to give a short presentation during these hours giving the participants an overview of what to expect in the longer workshop. About 150 participants attended the curtain raiser event.
Dr. Beloo Mehra and Ms. Jayashree Ashok attended the whole event and presented an overview of their proposed workshop. In their session they highlighted that while it is heartening to see that NEP 2020 speaks of arts integration and use of stories as possible methods for highlighting the character development role of education, there are some keen insights one can gain from Sri Aurobindo in this regard, both concerning the selection of curricular material as well as pedagogical approach when working with these methods.
It was also emphasised that any character development aspect of vital education for students must first lay equal, if not greater emphasis on the vital education for teachers. The personal example and influence of the teacher is most critical factor, according to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. A quick mention was made of the kinds of experiential activities we propose to do during the workshop.
The presentation by AuroBharati team was much appreciated by the participants and organisers of the seminar. The full seminar is likely to take place during the second weekend of March.