AT THE start of every academic year, I would welcome our pupils into school, and consider how we could continue to develop their potential and nurture their individual skills and talents. Education is a fundamental right for every child. Not only does it help an individual to fulfil their human capacity, but it has the capacity to shape entire communities. A child can be likened to a mine of rich gems, with innate virtues and great potentialities. Sadly, still in some parts of the world, children miss out on an education if considered not to be important or the child is required to contribute to the family income.
Baha’i writings emphasise a holistic and spiritual education. Abdu’l Baha tells of three kinds of education, material, human and spiritual. Children need to understand and find for themselves their purpose in life. Everyone is different and has different capacities. Baha’u’llah says: “The portion of some might lie in the palm of a man’s hand, the portion of others might fill a cup and others even a gallon measure.”
Whilst academic knowledge is important, an emphasis should be placed on the development of virtues of character. For example, truthfulness, kindness, respect, compassion, justice. Ask yourselves what kind of adults are we hoping ultimately to produce. Education is in a school which continues throughout life.
“O Son of Spirit! My first counsel is this. Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting. (Baha’u’llah)
Janet Tabarandak, Grange-over-Sands Baha’i Community