Looking for the Soul of Education: The Prague Reflections…

In the beginning was the promise. “Come”, we told the child. “We will build school for you. We will bring the light of learning to you. Welcoming doors to knowledge will open wide for you. Come, let’s make meaning together and weave our dreams in common.”

It has been a long… journey. We have been on the road over many millennia. Somewhere along the way, the rains started beating us. We lost the child and forgot the promise. We ran helter-skelter. The vision was gone. And, we were all children lost in a world-fair.

We got caught up in our role and stood a silent witness to the gradual extinction of the soul.

All is not lost, though. Life remains and the future beckons. Let’s rebuild the ship, collect our oars and set sail. We start the journey afresh.

And, what is more? Many of you, my fellow-educators at home and around the world, have dedicated your entire life to the advancement of just such a cause – making meaning and investing purpose into learning.

This is no ordinary mission, and no ordinary accomplishment.

We are here not to lament the loss of paradise but to share hope and to build faith. With all its imperfections, the world is still a good place and life is still beautiful. And, there will be children till the end of time as the ultimate link to the human family remains.

We, their elders, owe it to our children and their children and beyond to speak from the core of our being and to serve them with the integrity of our actions. We owe nothing less to our beloved Mother Earth and to dear Life.

We follow the light as the wise elders have shown us and behold education as a gentle process to guide the mind to look for and to love what is true, good and beautiful.

We have to track the child and recover the faith and keep the vision alive.

Our object is the precious soul of education. May the sacred blessing of the divine light our way!

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Thakur S Powdyel,

Former Minister of Education

Author: My Green School: An Outline for Human & Societal Flourishing.