Most people know the meaning of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – a world-renowned phrase in the ancient language of wisdom Sanskrit. But not many care enough to ponder the cost of achieving the dream.
The chaos that individual desires have inflicted upon the world has made it evident that future generations need to be taught about existence in an entirely new way. “We need to look at all 8 billion of us as a single entity. We all need the same earth, same oxygen, same water, and the same sun. What is required is bringing up global citizens with universal human values and not biased of the basis of belief, faith, religion, or sect,” contends Ashok Thakur, founder of Muni International Schools.
A prominent educator who refused to stand and accept doctrines, Mr Thakur views the entire world as a village when envisioning his idea of society. He points out that universalism is only possible when everyone is living relative to each other.
“Importance of dependability is at the core of prosperous relationships.”Ashok Thakur, Founder, Muni International School
Mr Thakur’s ‘Muni Method’ re-imagines the definition of work – from specialized skills restricted to a few people, to universal understanding which makes even the person with the lowest resources proficient. Ashok Thakur explains, “For preparing global citizens, the world doesn’t need experts in education. We need to fill every ordinary human being with the strength to be a change maker.”
Understanding Existence more than Imparting Education
Muni International School has stayed perched as number one in the EW India Budget Private School Rankings for six of the last seven years. The reason for this unparalleled performance is the unparalleled approach to the syllabus.
For Mr Thakur, the entire existence makes up the syllabus for his children. It prepares human beings for the larger order.
“The solution to all of world problems lies in building generation after generation of global citizens. For that we need to rethink how we impart subject knowledge,” he explains the concept at the core of Muni’s effort to create global citizen, “You need not change mathematics, languages, science or social study, but instead merge them to align with the understanding of existence and create a focus on universal human values. All perspectives in one object, which means all subject in one.”
At MIS, Mr Thakur questions every belief attached with the traditional definition of education. He questions the need for scores of subjects, taught in silos and the usefulness of the 40-minute periods. His methodology sees a child as a medium of expression for human life – recognizing the urge to play an active role in society, nourishing leadership ability, and honing problem-solving instincts. “Children don’t exist for subjects. Subjects exist to make lives more meaningful and happier,” Mr. Thakur exclaims.
The educator who had helped countless underprivileged children realize their potential for more than two decades sees the mainstream idea of education redundant in today’s volatile world. He elaborates, “Traditional teaching techniques can only replicate and transfer knowledge, similar to how pen drives store and share date. Instead, we have developed a method closer to technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning where self-realization is triggered in each child.
A combination of 21st century skills and universal human values makes up Mr Thakur’s approach at Muni, which he has aptly branded as the Modern Gurukul System. A system where each class merges different subjects (Math, Science, Social, Political, Economic, Language) and human skills (Research, Creativity, and Thought Construction) to bring about self-learning, self-evidencing, and self-evaluation in children.
Watch: A Glimpse of the study pattern of Muni International School
Heaven, Hell and Earth
“Human beings were designed by nature to make earth a heaven. To bring out heaven from thought into reality. Instead what’s happening today is dirty social media chat groups, murders and shootouts in schools, and rampant child abuse. Unfortunately, police and securities agencies can’t stop these crimes. Only education can,” Mr Thakur asserts.
He basis his belief on the idea that human learning, through mankind’s history, has centered around objects and not subjects. Only in the last few centuries we have started disregarding individuality. Humans should be identified by their value contribution before their material worth. He explains:
“The age of synergy, peace, health, and happiness in all creatures on earth depends on how fast we can produce global citizen with universal human values – the priority of these times – to save Earth and its components.”
Indeed, the need of the hour is to focus on bringing up future generations as global citizens with universal values on Earth rather than going to the Moon and Mars. Mr Thakur concludes, “Mars is called Mangal in Hindi, which also means happiness. The cost of making each citizen around the global happy would be less than half the amount of money we are spending today to land on the planet.”