11th February 2022

A webinar titled ‘Creating a Century of Peace by Raising Global Citizens through Humanistic Education’ was held on Friday, 11th February 2022 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of formation of BSG Education Division in 1992 and to strengthen the role of Humanistic Education in the 21st Century.

The webinar was attended by over 3,000 members and guests including many from the media.

The webinar was based on a panel discussion format and the panelists included Padma Bhushan Dr. Shyama Chona (Founder-President of Tamana Association), Ms. Kavita Anand (Founder Director, Adhyayan Quality Education Services), Prof. R.S.S. Mani (Vice-President, ITM Group of Institutions) and Ms. Vandana Jain (Education Division Chief, BSG).

The webinar started with the song ‘Dawn of India’ showing the history of President Ikeda’s 1992 visit to India through a video presentation. This was followed by a short film on Soka Education titled ‘Raising Global citizens through Humanistic learning’.

In a panel discussion that followed, the panelists shared their unique journeys, their views on ‘Global Citizenship’ and their vision for education towards 2030.

Ms. Kavita Anand shared her experiences of witnessing students worrying about marks rather than knowledge which led to a lifelong quest where her priority was to let children ask questions, be confident without having to worry about marks. Ms. Anand also shared an encouraging account of how the students at her school Shishuvan, travel every year to meet the women who make their uniforms so that they develop empathy and sensitivity.

Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awardee Dr Shayama Chona, shared her life experience of standing up to challenges and her personal struggle in founding Tamana to help children and young adults with special needs. Speaking about humanistic education she said, “Treat your students as your gurus – then you will be a lifelong learner”. Dr Chona also spoke about the importance of PQ (Physical quotient), in addition to IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Quotient) which are talked about more frequently.

Prof RSS Mani shared his views on Global Citizenship by talking about being ‘Glocal’ which is being global while being rooted in one’s community. He also talked about the importance of placing ‘Individual Social Responsibility’ over ‘Corporate social responsibility’ and that this is the best contribution that one can give to society. He also added that happiness is determined not by Intelligence Quotient or Emotional Quotient, but by Spiritual Quotient.

BSG Education Division Chief, Ms. Vandana Jain spoke in detail about ‘humanistic’ or Soka Education and shared that ‘happiness of the learner’ is most important. She shared examples of her teaching journey where she learnt to believe in the potential of every child.

The webinar concluded with presentation of mementos and vote of thanks delivered by BSG Chairperson Mr Vishesh Gupta. In his address, he concisely summed up the key takeaways from each panelist and shared that he attended the webinar ‘as a student’. He expressed his gratitude to the audience and concluded by highlighting the importance of fostering global citizenship.

Many of the guests shared their feedback that they found the webinar extremely enriching and thought-provoking.