Davao Diocese, The Philippines By Brcii Rainjita Ac.
AMSAI Preschools were started 21 years ago in Davao City by Dada Cidananda and Didi Ananda Supriti. The first school was started in the Ananda Marga Wholetimer Training Center and the trainees were the first teachers. Later on more AMSAI preschools opened in different locations.
At present there are four schools in Davao Diocese, namely, AMSAI Palm Drive, AMSAI Spring Valley, AMSAI Cabantian and AMSAI Digos. All together there are eleven teachers, 2 assistant teachers and 225 students in these schools. There are also many other schools in the Philippines such as the two AMSAI schools in General Santos City on Mindanao Island, AMSAI Atis and AMSAI Mateo, managed by Didi Amita for about 80 students.
Two AMSAI elementary schools were just started 3 years ago by Dada Mantrajapananda and Didi Ananda Carushila in Cabantian and Digos. Since then new classrooms have been constructed each year to accommodate students being promoted into the next grade. Currently these schools go up to third grade.
AMSAI Cabantian is located on the Master Unit in the same compound where the Whole Timer Training Center is. The location is a semi-rural area close to Davao City with a beautiful intense green environment and a view to some distant mountain ranges. The project when started by Dada Cidananda was a pre-school operating in a very simple structure made of bamboo walls and a thatch roof. At present there are three buildings made of concrete and there are plans to build some more to expand the activities of the primary school. The morning circle is part of the daily routine at the school. The teachers are acquainted with Neohumanist Education concepts and take part in seminars and workshops given by the local acaryas. As has been the tradition since the time of Dada Cidananda and Didi Ananda Supriti, every year Ananda Mela is celebrated.
The AMSAI schools in the Philippines are having a positive impact on the community. The curriculum emphasizes the moral principles of Yama and Niyama, yoga postures and meditation, relief collection and vegetarianism. Parents and teachers alike have gotten interested in yoga and many have joined yoga classes. The academic standard is high. Many preschool students in AMSAI Digos got promoted to a special section in the public elementary school when they took the entrance exam for Grade 1.