WOU’s Centre for Professional Development and Continuing Education (PACE) hosted renowned educationist Dr Jagdish Gandhi, the founder-manager of City Montessori School based in Lucknow, India. Dr Gandhi delivered a public lecture on ‘Social Responsibility of a Modern Educational Institute’ at the Kuala Lumpur Regional Office, which was well-attended by representatives from non-governmental organisations, universities, Montessori associations and a non-traditional learning academy.
As a visionary and far-sighted individual, Dr Gandhi has been building bridges of peace across the globe for nearly 50 years. For his long-standing contributions to education in peace, the United Nations awarded the prestigious UNESCO Prize for Peace Education to his unique creation - the City Montessori School in 2002 (the prize included USD30,000). City Montessori School, popularly known as CMS, was founded in 1959 by Dr Gandhi, who has since served as its founder-manager.
In his lecture, Dr Gandhi focused on the three primary thrusts of education which he identified as divine, human and material. To explain this, he referred to the various religious traditions of the world. He posited the formal school as the lighthouse of society, an addition to the fundamental learning that happens in the home. Emphasis was placed in freeing today’s education from the economic context.
The purpose of CMS’s broader education is to become a leader in society, especially as a self-appointed custodian to look after the world’s two billion children. He stressed that the future of our world is intrinsically linked to the future of our children.
Dr Gandhi believes that a World Judiciary is the only and the last hope for the survival of law and humanity, and so every year for the past ten years he has organised the World Judiciary Summit and the International Conference of Chief Justices of the World. The 11th Annual Conference of the World Judiciary Summit will be held from 11 -14 December 2010 at CMS in Lucknow.
His lecture was followed by a short talk by Shishir Srivastava, a motivational speaker, peace educator and prolific writer. He currently serves as Head, Department of Personality Development and Career Counselling at CMS. He shared highlights from his latest book 'The Eight Powers within You: Your Guide to Success' which is published by Penguin Books India.
All in all, the event was enlightening with several members of the audience staying back for personal discussions with Dr Gandhi. The questions ranged from inspiration for future work to making the Montessori method a further success in Malaysia.