How Secular Ethics Started In Tong-Len
Ethical development was one of the earlier steps taken, as Tong-Len was a community of cultural and religious diversity. Given most ethics seemed based on culture and religion, it was quite a dilemma to decide on which ethics to base the model, as teaching for the majority did not meet the needs of minority groups and non believers.
In 2012, Tong-Len discovered the book‘Beyond Religion’ one of the works of H.H The Dalai Lama on secular ethics that describes his vision on education of the heart and mind.
S.E with social engagement
To work towards a vision of developing a common ground to embrace a culture where different religious and ethical beliefs are neither hurt nor undermined, a variety of projects have been developed to address different ethical needs and have included awareness programs and skill development workshops on discernment, critical thinking and emotional awareness, all aspects of building ethical capacity.
Special occasions and government holidays such as 26th January, 15th August provide the opportunity to raise public awareness of Secular Ethics, using local media and public forums. These events increase the number of people reached and provide platforms for discussion and analysis with a broader audience.
Departments vision and mission
The future gives immense scope to extend further, using a variety of online tools and resources and through mentoring and creating partnerships in other parts of India in the next phase.
The longer-term vision is one of an international network of schools, tertiary institutes and community organisations all working to implement programs in secular ethics. Like the ripples from a pebble in a pond, it is hoped that this work will continue to inspire others to join in this vision of an ethical world, where poverty, cruelty and discriminating are annulled by ethical thought and action.
School is a place where you learn and then use what you have learned in your daily life through different projects which are related to the subject and we also get to explore the the things which we cannot learn from just books or the bookish knowledge. The knowledge learned by exploring tend to stay on mind longer than the bookish knowledge and taking this as an example Tong-Len try to integrate it's Secular Ethics curriculum in the outreach program. By introducing it as a play way method for the kinder gardeners and project based method for the junior and the senior students of the students, the curriculum is successfully carried out in Tong-Len.
Two of the project are as follow:
1. Kindness project
2.Concept of cultivation
In Tong-Len School
Within the Tong-Len School we not only educate the children in academics, we also follow the philosophy of developing the children as a good human being or a moral individual through the teaching of Secular Ethics in Education and now through SEE Learning. The Secular Ethics in Education is being taught in Tong-Len in 3 groups:
The tertiary Students
The middle and high school students
The primary students
Hostel and staff of Tong-Len practicing
Secular ethics is a concept which doesn't discriminate any religion or belief and it tends to find the common ground for all. So just like that it is a concept which can be learned by all. Tong-Len not only inculcates its students about the concept of Secular ethics, we also include our teachers and staff also in the learning session. Some of the projects that we have with teachers and staff are as follows:
1. SEE learning workshops
2. SEE Online course
3. Yearly staff and senior student discussion workshop
4. Ayur Gyan Nyas workshop
5. Senior students class on holidays
6. Hostel students morning inculcating/discussion on dilemma sessions