India, October 29, 2020: To mark the successful completion of the first batch of Social-Emotional Ethical (SEE) Learning Level One Facilitator Certification, a first in India, a virtual event was hosted by Piramal School of Leadership (PSL) in partnership with Centre for Contemplative Sciences and Compassion-based Ethics, Emory University, Atlanta, USA. 45 Facilitators were awarded Certificates on completion of the first level of certification, creating India’s first cohort of certified facilitators in SEE Learning. Gracing the occasion, were Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group, and Tempa Tsering, Director India and East Asia, Office of his Holiness The Dalai Lama. The event was attended by Lobsang Tenzin Negi, Executive Director, Centre for Contemplative Science and Compassion-based Ethics, Emory University, Brendan Ozawa-de Silva, Associate Director SEE Learning, Centre of Contemplative Science and Compassion-based Ethics, Emory University, Aditya Natraj, CEO PSL, as well as employees of PSL and Emory University.
The SEE Learning training is the result of combined efforts of a team of experts in Developmental Psychology, Education, and Neuroscience from Emory University, inspired by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, who has long called for education of heart and mind and a universal, non-sectarian approach to bringing the ethical development of the whole child into education. His Holiness says, “Research has shown that such values of empathy, tolerance, forgiveness, and love can be cultivated through learning and practice on the basis of common sense, experience, and scientific findings.” He believes the time for social, emotional and ethical learning has come. Promotion of SEE Learning is His Holiness’s vision for a peaceful world, happier and compassionate humanity, and he hopes that India can set a model of education of heart and mind to the world.
Speaking on the occasion, Lobsang Tenzin Negi, Executive Director, Centre for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics, Emory University said, “Compassion is key to unlocking human potential and SEE Learning is at the heart of this. This is a historic moment that we will all look back to in the future, in the promotion of compassionate education. You are all trailblazers in this journey. Piramal Foundation has not just embraced the initiatives of SEE Learning at all levels in bringing transformation in Education but has also brought concrete actions into existence.”
In his keynote address, Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group said, “We are driven by Seva Bhav – values of service of others before self. This has the potential to transform our country. Planting the seeds of Seva Bhav in young children is key, making them empathetic and compassionate people. SEE Learning nurtures harmonious humanity, service orientation, compassion, love, and builds the foundation for sustainable Seva Bhav. It is a proud moment as this first cohort of certified trainers will be the torchbearers who will take SEE Learning to educators across the country.”
The partnership between PSL and Emory University was forged in June 2019 with an agreement to incorporate SEE Learning in the school curriculum as well as adult learning. Towards that, over the last several months, the facilitators undertook a rigorous discipline of attending residential workshops, joining peer learning communities, engaging regularly with experts from Emory, participating in weekly readings, with practice exercises to facilitate sessions for children and adults, while maintaining a journal of their personal contemplative practices. PSL has also been integrating SEE Learning across several programmes and initiatives, including the Innovation Hub in Jhunjhunu District, Rajasthan, No Bag Day in Rajasthan, School Health and Wellness Program (SHWP) curriculum at the national level along with its implementation in Jharkhand, as well as the introduction of SEE Learning through Arts, Theatre, Poetry, Sports and SHWP across India’s Aspirational Districts. PSL will promote SEE Learning as a way of life to inspire compassionate and ethical education leaders to radically transform the public education system by developing awareness, cultivating compassion and appreciating interdependence.
Aditya Natraj, CEOPSL said, “Education should result in the nourishment of body, mind and soul for the holistic development of the child. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 emphasises that education must develop not only cognitive capacities and higher-order skills but also social, ethical and emotional capacities and dispositions among children, in order to build character and enable learners to be ethical, rational, compassionate and caring, while preparing them for gainful, fulfilling employment. We are delighted to have partnered with Emory University to introduce SEE Learning, and are committed to implementing itacross 50,000 schools and 50 lakh children over the next 5 years.”