The Department of Education (DoE) of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) began its 5-month awareness talk series on Secular ethics to the students of around 39 Tibetan schools & Tibetan public in 26 different settlements in India and Nepal.
The series of talk is being given by Geshe Yeshi Gyaltsen, DoE’s mentor on Secular Ethics. He will be visiting to all the Tibetan settlements in India and Nepal. The first leg of his 5-month tour is in and around Dharamsala, which he already began on 16 May 2018 at Upper TCV School. This will continue till 31 May 2018 by visiting Lower TCV School, Petoen School, TCV Gopalpur, TCV Suja, TCV Chauntra, STS Chauntra and people of Bir & Chauntra settlements.
The first talk at Upper TCV School was attended by around 350 students of classes X, XI & XII along with the Principal and Headmistress of the school. The second talk at the same school was held on the following day, and was attended by around 140 teachers along with the Director & Principal of the School. Both the talks were held in the evening at 7 o’clock.
The first talk was meant for the students and therefore, the speaker talked on five related topics in simple language with various examples. He initially explained little about the origin of ‘Secular’ era followed by the relevance of imparting ethical education to the people of all ages. Then he introduced and explained love & compassion, tolerance and interdependence as three essential basics of ethics.
He further elaborated the necessities of good health, harmonious relationships, sufficient wealth, quality education and far-sighted aspirations for oneself and others as five significant requirements for living a meaningful life.
Eventually, he appropriately described the three traditional ways of teaching and learning through listening, thinking and practicing which in other words termed as received knowledge, critical insight and embodied understanding. He said that if the students listen to teachers carefully and read the books, they receive and enrich their knowledge. The received knowledge needs to be thoroughly thought and analysed with critical mind to deepen and strengthen their knowledge. Then they need to embody the gained knowledge through continuous thinking and practice. If a student follows such learning process, s/he becomes truly a well-informed, knowledgeable and educated person in near future.
The talk was followed by a question and answer session, where several students raised questions related to the subject.
Finally, the concluding address was given by the School Principal. She commented that along with a perfect time management, Geshe la’s language was very appropriate to the children’s understanding, and most importantly, the content of the talk was extremely meaningful. She further stated that his encouragement to students to raise any related question and ways of responding every question was appreciative. She informed that the school has been organising programmes on Secular Ethics since last year, and plan to increase and improve the number and quality of the programmes in near future.
She continuously expressed her deep sense of satisfaction that, beginning the 5-month awareness talk series by Education Department at Upper TCV School on the first day of Sakadawa (fourth month of Tibetan lunar calendar) which coincides with the White Wednesday, the soul day of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been a very auspicious to the School. On behalf of the school, she thanked the Department for organising such talk series and thanked Geshe Yeshi Gyaltsen for giving a wonderful talk.
The second day talk was meant for the teachers of Upper TCV School, which was held the following day at 7.00 to 8.30 in the evening. In addition to the above topics, the speaker talked about the relevant subjects for teachers that include the qualities needed to become a good teacher, how the teachers could impart ethical education to students. The talk was followed by a discussion session where some of the teachers raised few questions.
Finally, the Director of the School, Mr. Tsultrim gave a concluding speech. On behalf of the school, he thanked the Department of Education and Geshe Yeshi Gyaltsen for the wonderful talk.
The second leg of the ongoing awareness talk series will be in Nepal, third in places in and around Ladakh and Mussoorie, fourth in three settlements in Central India, fifth in settlements in North-East India and the last will be in Southern India.
The five-month Awareness talk series is funded by Fonds De Dotation Mon Kontan Ou, France.
– Report filed by Department of Education –