Sathya Sai Education is based on Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s philosophy and teachings, giving equal importance to spirituality, human values, character development, and educational achievements. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba guided and blessed the establishment of Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) programs, Sathya Sai Schools (Schools), and Institutes of Sathya Sai Education (ISSE) for conducting Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV) programs around the world. Currently, 31 ISSEs and 44 Sathya Sai Schools support educational activities.
The SSSIO Education Committee has initiated and is actively working on accreditation of all Sathya Sai Schools around the world by initiating a self-review process followed by onsite visits to the schools. Accreditation is a collaborative and iterative process which validates and supports Sathya Sai Schools by acknowledging the good work being done and working jointly on areas needing attention.
This report highlights key educational activities of the SSSIO, including Schools and ISSEs, worldwide.
The National SSE program focused on online teaching and teacher training, and parent education across the country. Cedar Park and Sapientia Montessori Schools of Texas, U.S.A. are SSEHV Partnership Schools with the ISSE-USA. Since 2013, the schools have implemented SSEHV for Grade 1-6 students. Two virtual SSEHV introductory workshops for healthcare workers were presented to 47 nurses, social workers, and other healthcare workers. The ISSE-USA signed a Memorandum of Agreement with a community organization in Ohio to coordinate SSEHV trainings and logistics for staff and volunteers before they initiated SSEHV programs.
2020 marked the 20th anniversary of the Sathya Sai School of Canada in Toronto. The year started with a Winter-Mitten drive – for donating mittens, scarves, and hats to the Women’s shelter. It is a matter of pride to note that the Sathya Sai School’s Trailblazers team won in an intermural sports match. A series of virtual mental health and wellness workshops were held for students, staff, and parents during the pandemic lockdown.
The Sai Institute of Education West Indies (SIEWI) conducted training in SSEHV Course-1 as a capacity-building exercise for its three branches – Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, and Barbados; and for teachers of Sathya Sai Schools in Trinidad. The SIEWI continued to offer SSEHV classes in several communities and was able to start three new SSEHV classes in Children's Homes in Trinidad. Since 2017, annual SSEHV classes were held in St Croix for 45 high-school youth ages 14-17.
ISSE Mexico conducted online teacher training cohorts between May and August of 2020 with a team of trainers from the Sathya Sai Institute of Mexico. The institute also published a new Manual of Human Values in the tradition of Mexico. Monthly collaboration meetings were held online for all Latin American ISSEs. Further collaboration was established with the ISSE Ecuador on the International Meetings of Education in Human Values, Groups II, III, and IV. The ISSE also developed a new website.
The ISSE collaborated with the Sathya Sai Schools of Mexico (Chihuahua, Cuernavaca) and Guatemala to provide support to families who needed financial, medical, and psychological support during lockdown due to the pandemic. The team organized and delivered baskets of food and supplies. Parent education sessions were offered on the topics of vaccination and healthcare.
The Sathya Sai School of Values of Guatemala has been operating for 23 years and has 251 children and teachers. The School conducted online classes, and incorporated digital technology (Zoom), online academic control, and study guides with presentations and videos which have improved the quality of education.
In Arenoso, La Vega province, the Sathya Sai Institute of Education in Human Values has developed a SSEHV program and shared it for more than 12 years. What started as SSEHV classes has now grown into a Sathya Sai School. The school program fully meets the standards of the Ministry of Education and the requirements of the SSEHV program. Started in 2017, currently 80 children are enrolled in the program. The staff includes director, academic coordinator, four tenured teachers, three assistant teachers, counselor, and psychologist. In 2020, with the support of local volunteers, construction of a school building began on the campus.
The ISSE of Ecuador and the Sathya Sai School of Bahía de Caráquez have collaborated with the ISSE of Colombia to work with the Education Ministry of Ecuador to introduce Education in Human Values across the country.
They held 14 conferences on human values, with more than 77,000 views, and 10 Master Meditation Classes, with thousands of people joining the practice. Also, a second meeting of SSEHV with emphasis on integral education for the 21st Century was viewed by more than 53,000.
The Sathya Sai Schools of Guayaquil and Bahía de Caráquez conducted virtual classes for students through the pandemic.
ISSE Peru has offered face-to-face and online training programs and other seminars to teachers and parents in Lima, and virtual conferences for the public nationwide.
The Sathya Sai School in Ribeirão Preto and Rio de Janeiro continued to operate via online teaching through the pandemic. Teacher training sessions were offered by the ISSE Brazil.
In February 2020, the pre-ISSE of Paraguay began an SSEHV course for the community, with virtual classes. Values and sub-values related to the challenges imposed by mandatory quarantine were discussed, such as tolerance, solidarity, understanding, coherence, and peace.
An online diploma course was held in 2020 and 110 students graduated. The course consisted of 22 virtual lessons and was attended by students from Ecuador, Chile, and Peru. Other institutes in Latin America have benefited from these materials.
The Sathya Sai School of Abejales continued to fulfill its role of educating its students, welcoming their families, and helping with food and clothing.
Due to the pandemic the Sathya Sai School held online classes and the staff worked diligently to engage the audience in an efficient manner. The Sathya Sai School is completing the construction of four new classrooms for the high school students. Teachers were given regular SSEHV training to fully integrate human values in the curriculum.
The Women with Hope program, a joint initiative of the community engagement team and the ISSE Australia, provides values-based education in a residential facility for women who are recovering from domestic violence.
The Sathya Sai School of Fiji has 133 students with 9 teachers and 2 support staff. Despite the pandemic, the school continues to function using online education and mixed mode (in-person / online) classes. During the second term, the school provided free lunch to all students and staff. In the third term, the school also served breakfast in addition to lunch. The school conducted regular parent–teacher meetings to educate them on healthcare.
The ISSE New Zealand/Aotearoa acts on behalf of the Sathya Sai Values Education Trust, as the governing body for the Sathya Sai Rongomai Preschool, nestled on a spacious site in the campus of the Rongomai Primary School. The preschool has been serving the community for over 20 years. During the pandemic, the school focused on community engagement learning programs and community outreach activities.
The SSE program has over 1,000 students and 182 teachers. The SSEHV program has an enrolment of 1,024 students. Regular teacher training, and workshops for parents were conducted online. SSEHV sessions were combined with coaching classes, and financial aid was provided to needy students.
There are a total of 421 teachers and 2,300 students in SSE and SSEHV programs across Malaysia. More than 150 teachers were trained to take online classes to continue educational activities during the lockdown. In addition, 10 teachers were trained to conduct classes in Mandarin. An Educare Carnival was conducted by three states of Malaysia focusing on artistic expression of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings, and lessons learnt from the pandemic.
The program titled Sai Ram Covid-19 was organized by students to practice ceiling on desires and use the savings to support the needy. The SAIRAM AFRICA project created awareness among children on the plight of people affected by famine and food scarcity in Africa, and many people contributed to the relief efforts.
The Sathya Sai Primary School has 180 children and 15 staff members. To celebrate independence day, the students organized an awareness program on love for the country with many activities. The Young Scientist team from the school won a gold medal in the Evergreen Technology International Innovation Competition for invention of Natural Pandan Cockroach Repellent.
There are more than 200 teachers and over 1,000 students enrolled in the SSE/SSEHV programs across the country. SSE camp and teachers training were conducted online. A video based awareness program was created to help the volunteers who served on the front lines during the pandemic, and a parenting program was conducted online.
The educational programs has over 40 teachers and 50 students. The Sathya Sai School has 113 students and 6 teachers. SSE teachers prepared Christmas hampers for school children who baked cupcakes and cookies for gifts. The Parent Teacher association made Christmas décor with recycled items, creating a festive mood for the occasion.
Regular visits to multi-faith places of worship were organised. An online human values art competition attracted entries from 150 children.
The Sathya Sai School of Thailand has an enrollment of 341 students with 59 teachers. It is one of the longest running Sathya Sai Schools worldwide. Online SSE classes were held weekly.
During 2020, 33 postgraduate education students from four universities received certificates for completing a one-year online SSEHV training program, and 20 students received certificates for having completed two-year or three year programs.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Children and adults participated in the summer online workshops organized by teachers from Croatia and Serbia.
A variety of impressive educational activities took place including a puppet show on human values for children in the Bjelovar theatre, and a storytelling lecture. In February 2020, a public conference on human values related to protecting Nature was offered to 140 people and 50 high school students. During July and August, teachers from Croatia and Serbia held 15 online human values workshops for the residents of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia. Finally, from September to December, seven online presentations were made to 50 adults on Ceiling on Desires and Ecology.
A team of seven teachers gave online SSEHV classes every second Saturday in a small, beautiful house in the suburbs of Athens. In July 2020, a ten-day human values summer camp was organized in Sai Prema, near Athens for children who attend the SSEHV classes as well as children from indigent families. The camp ended with a wonderful theatrical performance. Throughout the ten days, children also participated in cleaning and taking care of the campgrounds, helping in the kitchen, picking up trash from the beaches, and collecting recyclables.
During 2020, teachers and parents used the lockdown period to find new ways to incorporate SSEHV into their family life and develop projects aimed to promote human values in their community. One inspiring example was a professional choir conductor who held multifaith classes with Jewish and Arab children, singing songs for peace and harmony together.
The Italian ISSE South Europe team prepared an online SSEHV course for public school teachers titled, Education in Human Values for Sustainable Development - Civic Education. The training program has been accredited by the Italian Ministry of Education and is scheduled to be launched in October 2021. Additionally, a training course for primary and lower secondary school teachers on education in human values was held at the Cardarelli Massaua Institute in Milan. Certified ISSE trainers organized four meetings to introduce SSEHV, with emphasis on study circles.
Before the pandemic, an extensive human values workshop was held for a group of 30 children in the Sunshine School.
From May to July 2020, the ISSE South Europe in Spain launched its first-ever online SSEHV Course-1 program in Spanish. A team of nine senior educators prepared the virtual heart-to-heart training course, which benefitted 46 participants from the mainland Spain, Balearic Islands and Canary Islands – they completed all three Modules of Course-1.
A team of three teachers offered online SSE classes once a month. The younger children especially enjoyed the role-play activities. About 20 children shared their skills in an online contest organized by young adults.
The European Sathya Sai Education Institute (ESSE Institute) conducted an online SSEHV webinar on the topic Social and Emotional Learning for SSEHV teachers and trainers.
A Self-awareness Course designed for the public was conducted in three towns of Estonia.
The Sai Children's Channel offered monthly programs for families. During the online 95th Birthday celebrations of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the children produced a short video with sacred mantras and spiritual lessons. Parenting sessions based on Baba’s teachings were developed and offered as webinars. Regular working group meetings were held on practicing human values in professional life.
The ESSE Institute conducted a Course-1, Module 2 program with 21 participants from Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. Additionally, a one-day online seminar for the teachers of a primary school was held to introduce the universal human values.
Monthly online seminars were held on the topics Unity is Divinity, Purity is Enlightenment to share spiritual insights and experiences.
The ESSE course 2 was finalized in 2020. Additionally, a public speaking seminar was conducted. The Storytelling Theater group held another performance for children in Amsterdam. Online SSE classes were offered every fortnight, and also during the online Birthday celebration of Baba, where the children shared some of their experiences.
A theater performance by youth and children, titled Casablanca, featured children helping older people to realize their dreams. For Christmas, a play titled, There was No Place for Them, showed the positive impact of showing compassion on those facing challenges in their lives.
An SSE Conference on Self-realization, happiness and harmony brought 220 participants together. The Fifth Young Adult Conference and Festival was attended by 22 teenagers who presented stories and plays on the life and teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. A zonal ecological project, Clean Planet was launched with the participation of 85 children and their parents from six countries of Zone 8. As part of this initiative, yards, beaches and riverbanks, parks, forests, and playgrounds were cleaned. They also planted more than 250 trees and plants.
The ESSE Institute and the Zone 8 Campus conducted 20 different workshops where 192 people from Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and Ukraine attended classes and received certificates.
Teachers and parents attended 13 workshops and classes were conducted both for SSE children and the children from the community.
Teachers and parents participated in 17 workshops. A class titled Speak with Love was held for children with special developmental needs in a boarding school, to inspire and motivate them.
Twenty-seven human values classes were conducted for 13 SSE students. Human values classes were also held on love for motherland and nature for community children.
Seminars were held on healthy food and vegetarianism for Seventh Grade students of a local public school, together with students of an environmental college and teachers. About 230 students and 12 teachers attended the seminars in two cities.
Human values classes on Self-knowledge were held in the children's support center for minors, a local university, and public schools.
An online seminar was held for 250 teachers and parents to highlight the role of the mother as the first spiritual teacher of the child, and the importance of parent as role models.
Conferences and seminars for teachers and parents were held in seven regions in addition to 395 SSE classes.
SSE school children and families participated in workshops, sports events, excursions to museums and exhibitions, and New Year and Easter celebrations. They also joined in service activities, such as cleaning grounds and tree planting.
Classes on healthy lifestyles for children were held in two public schools.
A seminar highlighting the importance of spiritual and moral education for children was conducted at a local institute, where an English teacher held SSEHV classes for students in Grades 5-11.
A Self-awareness seminar was conducted by the ESSE Institute.
The public enjoyed various workshops, games, service activities, seminars, and performances at a family camp on Purity.
Classes on ecology were conducted at a school, highlighting the use of home-made containers to recycle waste and plastic. Funds collected as a result of waste recycling were dedicated to help sick children. The school headmaster was pleased with the project and recommended it to other schools.
Fifty people from Russia and Ukraine participated in two online ESSE Campus seminars.
Children prepared projects on ecology and healthy food. Grade 5 and 7 children sang songs on friendship, love, and joy which gradually improved their character. Additionally, SSEHV classes were held for local children in the community. (Photo 10)
Various educational initiatives were held in Africa. To meet the growing demands from SSSIO countries and 12 Sathya Sai Schools in Africa, the South Africa ISSE continued to nurture local leadership through trained facilitators and began launching new ISSEs.
The Sri Sathya Sai Centre at D’Abomey and the Sri Sathya Sai School of Abomey have been transforming young lives in this underprivileged country. The Centre nurtures about 65 local children and their parents, and 187 children, aged between 3 and 12, receive education in the Sathya Sai School. The children also join in local service activities of the SSSIO.
The South Africa ISSE conducted online SSEHV workshops for youth and healthcare workers which were especially valuable during the pandemic. The three Sathya Sai Schools received government accreditation (Umalusi). All the schools continued with their Serve the Planet initiative, by following the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle). SSEHV programs for children from underprivileged settlements and outreach projects were continued despite the pandemic.
The new secondary school at the Sathya Sai School, Kisaju, continued with the development of the curriculum. A number of challenges were overcome during the pandemic, and the school continued to offer food and shelter to needy local families.
The SSSIO Morocco continued to go forward with their community project with the Tamazouzt SSEHV partnership school in Marrakech. Teacher workshops and health/vaccine awareness programs were also conducted.
The Sathya Sai School continues to function well. The South Africa ISSE began an official training program in SSEHV for teachers and school administrators.
Despite the pandemic, SSE students of Ghana continued to attend classes online.
The SSIO has continued to foster the relationship with two adopted schools in Kampala, where teachers and students both have benefited from workshops and training programs.
UK & Ireland
Weekly SSE classes took place online via Zoom. SSE Children also participated online in Easwaramma Day and Christmas celebrations.
Two SSE Advanced Teacher Trainings were conducted via Zoom. Both trainings were based on Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s divine discourses and writings.