“My child has problems in school.” Heard this before?
Few issues are as gut-wrenching for a parent. So school bosses and Parent Teachers associations are under pressure all over the world to dig us out of the widely proclaimed education crisis. Google returns 781 million pages for this search term, and no less than 139 million pages for “education crisis in South Africa” alone.
But something extraordinary is happening in the school systems of many countries, including South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Brazil and the UK. And you need to know about it and let Trevor Manuel know about it, because he and his National Planning Commission are crying out to the public for solutions to problems in school.
“So what has this to do with MY child? you ask.
Lets say you had problems in school so you persuaded the authorities to put a new system into your school. It seemed to work, and you surveyed the parents after a few months. You asked parents to rate their satisfaction.
What do you think you would see in the survey results? There are always naysayers, right? So a decent majority saying happy, or very happy, would satisfy you, right? Even with a good 20% saying unhappy, and a big chunk neutral, right?
So here’s an interesting case history of parents surveyed in a new free school in Skelmersdale in the UK. Its a model SA could try. One of the parents recently organised an independent survey of the parents of children at the school to see what they thought about the new school.
The results were extraordinary. “Are you you happy with the Maharishi School so far? they were asked. 89% said “yes, very happy, and 11% “yes, happy.” There was NOT ONE neutral or negative response.
The school uses Transcendental Meditation (which a 2011 study showed to improve maths and English results among under-performing secondary school learners.)
The results indicated that 100% of the parents are happy with the school, 100% of parents found the school met their expectations, 100% said the experience of the school matched or exceeded the information they received before applying, 100% said “my child’s experience” was an improvement from previous schools, 100% said they were confident that their child was enjoying their time at the school, and 100% said they would recommend Maharishi Schools to other parents and children.
This level of support for the new Maharishi Free Schools in England is of a completely new order, something we have never seen before.
This may not be peer-reviewed research. However, the results of the UK survey are compelling enough to be quoted in two proposals for new Maharishi Free Schools (in London and Rendlesham) submitted last week to the UK government for schools that will open next year.
Similar things are happening in Brazil, where the Provincial government of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s largest province, has resolved to provide this approach to all learners in its 1000 secondary schools.
This will involve teaching Transcendental Meditation to 1.5 million learners.
These proposals could easily be adapted for use in South Africa to show how Consciousness-Based Education, which uses Transcendental Meditation, will fulfil our specific educational needs.
Dr Derek Cassells, Head Teacher of Maharishi Free School, Skelmersdale, invites teachers, principals, or anyone interested, to come and see the Maharishi School for themselves, understand the process of establishing new schools, and go back and establish Maharishi Schools in their own countries.
If you would like to know more about how you could take these ideas into your school system – or simply ask a question about Transcendental Meditation – comment below or fill out the form TOP RIGHT