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In a nutshell, Education For Life works directly with children’s energy. This focus on energy is at the core of Education For Life as described by Educaton For Life’s for­mu­lator, J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriya­nanda), in his book Education for Life. Education For Life can be said to attune the adult and child. This is a usually overlooked aspect of instructional success. It is what sets Education For Life apart from almost every other educational ap­proach, even those that are, like Education For Life, also experi­en­tial, holistic, child-centred, and integrated.

Two Happy Student Embracing

Underlying Education For Life are the ground-breaking principles and prac­tices of Paramhansa Yogananda at his “how-to-live” school for boys, first in Dihika and then Ranchi. His school won wide acclaim even before he left for the West — the first Indian yoga master to ac­tu­ally reside there.

Building on Yoganandaji’s work with just a few later “tweaks”, Education For Life has developed over four de­cades — branching out from the first pri­mary school (1972) and the first high school (1997). There are also a quite a few teachers at other schools imple­ment­ing Education For Life in their own class­rooms.

Christmas Nativity Play by Sunday School ChildrenIn both set­tings, the Education For Life approach is living proof  that the in­structional process can be joyful and stress-free without sacri­ficing aca­dem­ics.

This aspect of Education For Life is one of the main reasons former Indian presi­dent APJ Kalam was so enthusiastic about it when he met Swami Kriyananda in 2006!

Full Circle

Soon after the new millennium, when Ananda began a branch in India, Education For Life also quietly re­turned to the land of its birth. Although we have no school in India yet, many inroads have been made in bring­ing Education For Life prin­ci­ples and practices to parents and teach­ers. Several schools have adapted it for their own needs, and one of them is hoping to become a fully Education For Life school.

Education for Life Teachers Prisha and Gayatri with Trainees Education For Life outreach in India has been mainly in the NCR, Pune, Pudu­cherry, and Udai­pur, as well as Ahme­da­bad, Rishi­kesh, and Hal­dwani, through the efforts of Education For Life India co-directors Gaya­tri Nam­biar and Prisha Kirby. Theirs is a colla­bo­ra­tion of East and West in educational prac­tice as well as teaching students at both ends of the age spect­rum.

Round­ing out the Education for Life India team are seve­ral younger associates in various stages of train­ing and teaching experi­ence.

EFL at 100

We’ll mark Education For Life’s centenary this year in several ways. One high­light will be a pil­gri­­mage that we are in the process of planning to Dihika and Ranchi through Kol­kata during the post-Diwali vacation week. This will be Ananda’s first pilgri­mage there. For details about the pilgrimage, please e-mail info@edforlifeindia.org.

Children Meditating at Sunday School