Education Training Camp

Digos City, Philippines
Oct 23-24, 2006

By Sister Asima
Davao Sister Training Center

The education training camp for Davao and General Santos Region took place for two days at AMSAI Sunrise. It was organized by Didi Ananda Carushila and Didi Amita, assisted by WT trainess, Asiima and Chandradevii, and attended by 11 teachers and five staff members. The first workshop was on “STUVOL” by Didi Ananda Carushila, followed by a class on “Morality” by Didi Amita. In this session, each partner was required to create a story based on principles of Yama and Niyama and make a play from the story. In this way the teachers could acquire new ideas for story telling.

The next workshop was by guest speaker Mrs. Ciencia Plaza, a retired kindergarten teacher and a mother of one of our teachers, who is familiar with our principles. She spoke on “Ethics and Spiritual Values”, attributes which are very much lacking nowadays especially among younger teachers.

Manomaya, a former Neohumanist teacher gave a class on Neohumanism for the benefit of our three new teachers who recently joined the Mateo, Arabel and Spring Valley schools. In the evenings we played some outdoor games which they can use with their students. Afterwards, for recreation, we were entertained by a cultural performance of cheering dances, singing and acting by groups of teachers. The teachers were very excited and put on their best performances as this was a competition and there were prizes to be won. After an intensive day, a nice adventure movie titled “Duma” was shown to the participants, an inspiring story about the friendship between a boy and a cheetah.

The next day we started the day early with 5 am meditation, introduced PT exercises, morning circle by the teachers and a yoga dance by choreographer, Gaorii . This provided an opportunity for the teachers to gather new ideas for teaching yoga. Next they were taught some new Prabhat Samgiita songs, led by Candradevii on the guitar. By 10.00 am, off we were to the beach nearby. We organized some team-building games such as most creative cheering team, passing message, tallest pyramid, imitate forms, obstacle games and quizzes. All the participants loved the games so much that they forgot about their plan for a swim. After that we enjoyed some ice cream and a light brunch before heading back for another workshop. Savitrii, our next speaker is connected with an international NGO and manages a theatre and dance group specializing in traditional dance and music. She shared her experiences in working with poor children, teaching them discipline and responsibilities and performing arts as a channel to express their frustrations and anger and thereby giving them a chance for a better life away from their destitute condition, showing them love through arts. They hold regular performances in cultural events around Davao . About fifteen youngsters from age six up to teens are currently under her wing.

Lastly, there was an evaluation of the intensive two days course and feedback before a closing ceremony and the awarding of prizes to the winners. From feedback gathered, we know that we had reached our objective in providing new ideas with games, story telling, dance and plays, which are effective tools in teaching.