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South Africa: Consciousness-Based Education thriving
by Global Good News staff writer

Global Good News    Translate This Article
20 December 2013

In December 2013, six years after the partnership between Maharishi University of Management (MUM), USA, and higher education in South Africa was established, the first graduation ceremony at Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa, took place with 29 students receiving degrees awarded from MUM.

Dr Craig Pearson, Executive Vice President of Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, who has spent his whole career in Consciousness-Based Education, officiated at the ceremony. Other speakers at the event included local Maharishi Institute founders and administrators, Dr Taddy Blecher and Dr Richard Peycke.

The Institute Choir was featured at the graduation but the centrepiece of the event was the awarding of degrees.

Many of the graduates had grown up in poverty in South Africa's townships, Dr Pearson said, and most had been with the Institute since its inception in 2007. Dr Pearson is well aware of the ability of Consciousness-Based Education to transform a person's life, but in South Africa he was deeply impressed by how dramatic the effect can be.

Under the direction of Dr Blecher and Dr Peycke, Maharishi Institute has grown and is flourishing. It offers Consciousness-Based Education to the several hundred students who are following in the footsteps of the first graduating class. When the Institute was established its administrators were inspired by the success of the programmes developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Consciousness-Based Education, to develop leaders for the nation. They feel this first graduating class is a great beginning, and that the Institute's success in Johannesburg is the first step in bringing Consciousness-Based Education to every province in South Africa so that children, while receiving an ideal education, can create peace and harmony for the country.

Around the same time as the Maharishi Institute graduation, at Neotel, a large South African telecommunications company, ten employees who had completed the MUM MBA curriculum were awarded their degrees. The president of the thousand-employee company spoke at the ceremony, as did Dr Blecher. Neotel has the distinction of being one of the first commercial corporations in South Africa to offer an in-house graduate degree programme.

For those instrumental in developing Consciousness-Based Education in South Africa, who grew up during the era of apartheid and saw Nelson Mandela turn his back on violence and hatred in order to promote unity and forgiveness, it was deeply moving that the first Maharishi Institute graduation occurred at the time of his passing. One of the Institute's founders commented that it was an historic time for the country to celebrate Mr Mandela's life, while at the same time hosting the Executive Vice President of MUM at the first Institute graduation, a milestone in fulfilling Mr Mandela's goals for the nation.

During the last year Maharishi Institute has embarked on a number of expansion projects, including computer labs, a larger library, and classrooms.

Ezemvelo Game Reserve in South Africa has become home to the Sustainability programme offered at Maharishi Institute. The 4,000-hectare game reserve is now the Maharishi Institute Ezemvelo rural campus. Located about two hours from Johannesburg, the reserve has become a classroom laboratory for a group of Institute students studying sustainability.

The momentum of growth for Consciousness-Based Education in South Africa continues to increase as local businesses offer financial and other forms of support, including advertising and media.

Copyright © 2014 Global Good News Service

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