OBJECTIVES AND APPROACH

Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (SAICE) strives to evolve a system of integral education in an environment that inspires children to develop the five essential aspects of personality: the physical, the vital, the mental, the psychic, and the spiritual. The Centre encourages its students to choose subjects without regard to specialisation or the pressures of having to choose a career.

Life has a divine purpose and one of the most important tasks of education is to lead the student to discover for himself the aim of life and the specific role that he himself has to play in it. "The new aim is to help the child to develop his intellectual, aesthetic, emotional, moral, spiritual being and his communal life and impulses out of his own temperament and being," says Sri Aurobindo.

The Centre's approach is therefore not merely academic but dynamic. Knowledge is not something that it seeks to impart to students; rather opportunities and carefully selected material are presented to them in such a way as to stimulate them to an inner activity by which they can discover the recognise the knowledge within them.

A child needs to be helped to develop integrally and harmoniously. The Centre seeks to provide the fullest possible development of the physical, a fruitful channeling of the life-energy into pursuits that contribute to the growth of the personality, a thorough training of the mental faculties in the humanities and sciences, and, through a powerful spiritual atmosphere, the conditions for the soul to come forward and gradually begin to govern the rest of the being.

With about 400 students the Centre is relatively small. This ensures that teachers and instructors can pay as much attention to each child as possible. A typical class has only twelve or thirteen students; many classes and other activities have even fewer.

"The aim of education", the Mother wrote, "is not to prepare the individual student to succeed in life and society, but to increase his perfectibility to the utmost." In keeping with this aim, the Centre of Education awards no degrees or diplomas, but attempts to provide an atmosphere where knowledge is sought for the sake of knowledge and for the building up of the character.