And I had sent these ten points to the Mother. And, when approving this programme for higher education, she had said, “Now it is to be implemented thoroughly and sincerely”. So she had approved of the whole programme that was given here, which is not a programme really of any deep curriculum but a method of work. And I’ll read out to you and I would very much like to present to you these ten points, because when we are trying to develop higher education in Auroville and when our idea is basically to develop no school, these ten points may help us. Not that we should be confined to these ten points, we can always be flexible, open; but this was the idea. It said:
Since the free progress approach governs all studies in the higher course
1. There is no compulsion with regard to any subject of study.
2. The choice of a subject for study is made by the student in accordance with his real and serious quest.
3. His course or subject thus selected constitutes a short or a long project according to the nature of the topic and the decision of the student.
4. In exploring each subject of study, the student takes the help of the teacher or teachers whom he chooses.
5. In guiding the students, the teachers are expected to widen and intensify the area of exploration to avoid narrow specialisation or wide superficiality.
6. Each student’s programme of studies should be flexible and evolutionary.
7. In the selection of topics of study, the student is not confined to a single faculty such as Arts, Science, Engineering Technology, even though he may belong predominantly to any of these faculties.
8. The period of study for the predominantly Arts or Science student is three years and that of the predominantly Engineering Technology students is five years.
9. The exact quantum of work to be covered by each student for his selected course cannot be predetermined, but in order to have successfully completed his course, he should have shown regularity of sustained effort, development of capacities, understanding of his subjects, and the power of answering relevant questions orally and in writing with sufficient clarity and precision. The quality of the work is considered more important than the quantity of the work, although the latter, also, should not be meager but commensurate with high standards.
10. There is no system of conventional examinations or tests and the system of continuous assessment and evolution of the student is continued.
As already stated, in the Centre of Education, there were no degrees or diplomas.
Then I’d stated something which I don’t want to read because it is not necessary. So this is what I had proposed at that time. Now, all this may not be immediately applicable here, but it may be helpful, because while approving it, Mother had said, “You must now practice it thoroughly and sincerely”.
So I would like you to study so many topics I have given here. You can add your own topics which you think are not here. You can even make a comment saying, “This is quite unnecessary”. Paulette has already given me a list of topics which are not here but which ought to be here. This is very helpful. Some others have also mentioned to me something. I have received some requests from some people – young people – that they would like to be part of higher education. They would like to participate in this. They have their own ideas. All are welcome.
We can continue tomorrow again and I’ll be happy to explore with you – today I have spoken largely; perhaps tomorrow you would like to speak much more than I can and I would like to develop as to how we should go about – I would like your advice. I believe that in Auroville we require to develop higher education. We require to develop research of the highest order. We have here talents, capacities which can be harnessed to this kind of research work. There are students who are in need of higher education. They need to be attended. So tomorrow we shall discuss this question in detail. I will request Deepti first of all to introduce the subject because she has been teaching some students who are, according to me, perhaps going to enter into higher education soon. I’ll request other teachers also, who are not here perhaps but who can come, who may be in contact with young people of Auroville and who, in their opinion, should also be part of the higher education. Maybe in some respects they are fit for higher education and in some respects they are not. And we have open school – I mean, it is no school, so it is not necessary that they should be fully in higher education. We can have a flexible system in which students can float between this level and that level. But all this we can discuss tomorrow, so that at the end of tomorrow we can have some clear idea, some programme of activity which we’ll start with higher education.
This is what I wanted to tell you today but, if you have any questions now, if they’re short questions and if you’re not in a hurry I can answer or I can share with you whatever I can share; or else we can meet tomorrow.
Question: When you talk about higher education I hear implied – I may be wrong – that this higher education is something that we old-in-body people would offer to the younger-in-body people, but I actually feel that higher education is something that we could offer each other, irrespective of body age, actually. Because I know for myself that there are many things where I would require the instruction or the help or the guidance of someone who had taken the subject further, but I wouldn’t be able to go if we aimed CIRHU or higher education only at the young-in-body.
Answer: No, you are right.
Comment: Yeah? And I have a feeling that may be true generally, that we’ll find that we have gaps in our maturity, in the education of our minds and that there really should be an effort to make this open to people of all body ages.
Answer: Yes, I agree entirely, absolutely — most enthusiastically. It is a centre of research, basically in which students of younger age will take advantage of. But basically it is for students of all ages.
All right? Thank you so much.