NHE Conference – April 11-14, 2009
The global NHE Conference was sponsored by Ananda Marga Gurukula and hosted by the Ananda Marga River School on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Many thanks go to the local hosting school with a special thank you to Prabha, Kamala and Manorainjana. The focus of the conference was Primary School Education.
Special Guests included: Eric Jacobson, Director of the Progressive School of Long Island in the USA, Didi Ananda Vitandra and Rukmini, Principal and Administrator of Vistara School in Lismore, Australia, Dada Ratnadevananda and Prabha, Principal and Deputy Principal of River School in Australia, Didi Ananda Gaorii, Director of Sunshine School in Laos, Didi Ananda Anuraga, Director of Baan Unrak School in Thailand, Didi Anandarama, an NHE coordinator, and Dr. Marcus Bussey, NHE teacher trainer, and author of many books and articles on NHE.
Every day started with a Morning Circle, each one led by a different school: first day, River School, second Day PSOLI, third day Vistara School, fourth day, Sunshine School. For a detailed description of the morning circle from Vistara Primary School, please see the YES section of this newsletter.
The evening programmes were relaxed and stimulating watching the different schools present their videos, slides and even the Lao and Thai teachers performed their folk dances, and led a collective celebration of Thai New Year. It was a time to enjoy the incredible spirit that is hidden in the powerful effects Neohumanist schools are having on the children and the community they are in.
Baan Unrak Primary School in Thailand was presented by Didi Ananda Anuraga and Janaki. The school is in its 4th year and has 260 children with 2/3 coming from orphanages and the rest from the local community. They are well known for their high standard of English. One girl from our home won the entrance to a prestigious boarding high school. The school has a yearly environmental cleanup programme that other schools join. And they have a dog sanctuary with 20 dogs where they are taking care of abandoned dogs in Sangklaburi town.
‘House of Love’ Kindergarten in Venezuela told its almost endless struggle to get registered but now it is running well with 70 children. Didi Ananda Amegha has put in a bid for hosting next year’s NHE conference in Venezuela. Sunshine Primary School in Laos has 320 children and Didi Ananda Gaorii showed slides of the school’s theme of local native cultural events. Didi Anandarama showed slides of the STUVOL programme in Syria and the yoga for children programme in Cairo Egypt.
Rukmini presented the story of Vistara School and showed films of its spectacular yearly school drama at the Lismore City’s theatre. Progressive School of Long Island showed slides and film made by a parent who just walked in one day and took scenes of the day’s school flow. It was a very interesting glimpse into the various classes. Finally Ananda Marga River School presented a video of the school history from the very beginning 15 years ago.
A Summary of the four day program follows: