Thursday, September 21, 2017

Foundation to launch weekend Dhamma schools

The Dhamma School Foundation is planning to open Sunday Dhamma schools during the summer holidays, a spokesperson says.

Foundation secretary Daw Kay Tu Malar said Sunday Dhamma schools were being tested in Yangon and would probably be extended into other states and regions when enough teachers had been found.

“We admired the Sunday Dhamma Schools in Sri Lanka, where children learn Buddhist ways of living in harmony,” she said.

Volunteer U Win Aung said the curriculum sought to teach children about the teachings, history and culture of Buddhism.

“In Theravada Buddhism, people achieve Nirvana by their own efforts. We reap what we have sown. Myanmar traditional culture and customs are based on the teachings of Buddha, which are reflected in the curriculum,” he said, adding that the course would help guide children in a moral approach to daily life.

Patron of the Paungdaw Oo monastic school, the Venerable Sayadaw Badanta Nayaka, said the schools would adopt a modern approach to teaching. “We should consider religion as part of education to attract the younger generation,” he said.

Although monastic schools managed by Buddhist monks have been widespread, they are decreasing in number throughout the country because of antiquated curricula and teaching methods, he said.

Many Buddhist monks also think of their education programs in purely religious terms, which he said was a “short-sighted” approach.

The program is being sponsored by company Shine Hope and individual well-wishers. Volunteers from the Department of Education and the United Nations Children’s Fund are helping run the program.

Meanwhile, Buddhist associations in Yangon are collaborating to hold Buddhist ethics training programs next month.

DhammaYaung Chi president U Hla Myo said the free classes, known as Yin Kyae Lain Ma, would be held from 8am to 11am from April 24 to 30 at Sasana Alinyaung Dhamma Hall in Ahlone township.

DhammaYaung Chi, Alin Saytaman Dhamma donation group, Myint Myat Parami Foundation and the Mobile Alms group are jointly organising the project.

Meanwhile, the associations plan to hold a training class for teachers interested in leading ethics classes in other townships.

The free classes will take place each Saturday from 9:30am to 4pm at Ywanma Pariyatti monastery in Insein township from April 8 to 10. The objective of the program is to bring Buddhist teachings to the younger generation, he added

U Hla Myo said the program aimed to strengthen religious duty and attitudes especially among young people, and to maintain the culture and customs based on Buddhism.

“We plan to hold more courses outside Yangon, especially in summer (March-May). I’m glad to say local associations in each township have shown interest in the course and we need to do more in future. Buddhism is not about criticising or hurting others. All Buddhists should be aware of this,” he said.

Those seeking more information or wishing to register should call (01) 382-935, 09-501-5446 or 09-803-0138, or visit the association’s office in Latha township’s Theingyi Market.