Meaning and Scope of Educare
Educare is defined as the process that results in the blossoming of the humane qualities latent in every human being. The aim of Educare is to help every child to grow into a physically, mentally and spiritually healthy adult. There exists a gap between superficial knowledge and practical knowledge (meaning that which is rational and can be put into practice). From superficial knowledge (information acquired exclusively from books and classroom lectures) we must proceed towards general knowledge (information with the knowledge of social implications and ramifications). After scrutinising this general knowledge, we can gain discrimination knowledge, which provides us with the ability to discriminate between the good (desirable) and the bad (undesirable). From this discrimination knowledge, we proceed to practical knowledge (knowledge which can be operationalised in the real world environment), which is changeless (eternal). True and eternal education is changeless. This is wisdom, wherein the heart filled with compassion, becomes sacred and seeks the welfare of all.
An educated person should not have bad qualities and must not indulge in wicked deeds. Baba always emphasised, “The end of education is character.” Today’s education imparts only bookish knowledge, which is likely to put down a person if he relies exclusively on it. How long does this bookish knowledge last or retain its relevance? It lasts as long as it is in our head and also remains contemporary depending on the advancement of knowledge. To put the bookish knowledge into practice is not so simple. Baba often remarked that student stuff their heads with bookish knowledge, go to the examination hall, put in writing answers to various questions that are given in the question paper and return home empty-headed! To acquire discrimination knowledge, one requires general knowledge that comprises insight and intelligence. Discrimination knowledge also has in it common sense. Both are essential for life in this world.
What is the end of education? People answer this question by saying that there is no end for education. Definitely, there is an end to what one studies from books. Education without character is useless. In earlier times, in the Gurukulas, (the residential education in far off Ashrams at forests that existed in the bygone times) the sages took the students along with them wherever they went and taught them without conforming to any rigid schedule. Gurukula education was thus a continuous learning process. However, education today is limited to strict time schedules in the schools and colleges. Thus, education has become narrow. True education, which moulds character, has no limits. It is to achieve this goal essentially that Sri Sathya Sai Baba established the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed to be University) and other educational institutions in and around Prasanthi Nilayam.
|Sri Sathya Sai Baba, |
Revered Founder Chancellor
According Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Founder Chancellor of this Institute [i], there is a subtle distinction between education and Educare. Education is for living, whereas Educare is for life. Educare means to bring out, to elicit, and develop from a condition of latent rudimentary or potential existence. In other words, Educare is based on the principle of love. Harmony between man and nature, and man and man develops when the philosophy of education is sincerely put into practice. Educare would ensure harmony among people irrespective of their race, colour and nationality. Modern education, which is devoid of required inputs from respective social cultures, is akin to counterfeit money. By pursuing such instruction devoid of culture, our hearts become dim and hence many animal (sub-human) qualities infiltrate without our knowledge.
Education without culture is like a kite with a broken string and no one would know where it would fall and what damage it might cause to others. Therefore, such education does not promote overall welfare of any stakeholder. Only if education is blended with culture, will it shine forth as true education. It is therefore essential to develop Educare for it develops broad-mindedness. There may exist different varieties and disciplines in education. But ultimately, all types of education should converge into Educare which runs like an undercurrent and can be achieved gradually.
Baba always stresses that mere acquaintance with information available in books would not constitute true education. True education throws open the shutters of the mind. How can one enter a house when the shutters are down? People desire many comforts and pleasures, and also aspire for virtues. For that, they have to remove the blocks from their mind first. Only then will absolute truth manifest in them. This absolute truth is universal. With intelligence as a spoon and enquiry as the process of stirring, one can experience the all-pervasive Divinity. That is true wisdom, which enables everyone to recognise the unity of all creation. This recognition of unity in multiplicity is the ultimate goal of education.
Genesis of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
In June 1966, Sri Sathya Sai Baba was at Anantapur, a town in Andhra Pradesh, 60 miles from Prasanthi Nilayam, at the invitation of a high school for girls. The plight of the girls who had to go to distant places for higher education, and also the kind of education for which they were spending much time and money, touched him. He announced that there would soon be a women’s college in Anantapur, the headquarters of Anantapur District in Andhra Pradesh in South India. On July 22, 1968, he laid the foundation for the college for women at Anantapur. At a time when gender issues had not even surfaced in the field of education in India, he envisioned the importance of educating women who would serve as the foundation for the building of the nation.
Four Campuses of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
As is rightly said, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”. Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s main aim of starting a women’s college was to emphasise that if a woman is educated, the entire family benefits from her knowledge and wisdom as she plays an important role in moulding the future generations of the family into responsible citizens. While inaugurating the college building for women in 1971 in the presence of the President of India, Sri V.V. Giri and Smt. Saraswathi Giri, Sri Sathya Sai Baba declared that the college would soon be transformed into a University. On this occasion, he outlined the overarching purpose of the future University. He said, “The Sathya Sai University will have to undertake the task of revitalising the ancient culture of India and to train the rising generation on the path of love and service to humanity and self-reliance.”
A year later, on June 9, 1969, the Sri Sathya Sai Arts, Science and Commerce College for men was inaugurated at Bangalore, Karnataka, South India. A decade later, on November 28, 1978, Baba laid the foundation stone for the College of Arts, Science and Commerce at Prasanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh, South India. The three campuses eventually merged under the umbrella of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL) on November 22, 1981 with Sri Sathya Sai Baba as its Founder Chancellor. The Institute began its operation with two campuses at Prasanthi Nilayam and Anantapur. A year later in November 1982, the campus at Bangalore became a part of the Institute. The subsequent addition was the Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music, inaugurated on November 20, 2000 in Prasanthi Nilayam. The foundation stone for the fourth campus of the Institute was laid on February 14, 2009, by the Revered Founder Chancellor at Sri Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli, Chickballapur District, Karnataka. The campus became functional as the fourth campus of the Institute from June 1, 2012.
[i] The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning is a Deemed to be University under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act of 1956. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is also the Founder Chancellor of the Institute. The Institute is modelled on the lines of the Gurukula system of ancient India wherein education is provided totally free of cost to the students. The Institute follows the residential system, wherein all the students from the first grade to the Postgraduate section stay in the hostels. The Institute focuses on imparting values-oriented education to its students.
Source: Role of Values-Based Management in Management Education: Insights from the Business School at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Chapter 24, Man Management: A Values-Based Management Perspective