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Opportunities and Challenges for Buddhist Education

2009年04月01日 11:46:00 佛教在线 点击:0

Ven. Bhante K. Dhammaratana

Chief Incumbent & President of SBV

Today, there are many opportunities for Buddhist Education in the modern world more than ever before. This is called global education opportunities. With the dawn of the internet the possibilities have increased immensely and the access to gain knowledge has thereby also been  increased. Because of this, the modern world acts as an Open University for all. Wonderful! Anyone,  can study any subject, anywhere, at any time in this University.

Internet

There is no limitation.And this is a good opportunity for Buddhist Education too. You can find about Theravada or Mahayana or any kind of information on Dharma on the internet. This is faster than all other systems. Because, people all over the world  can watch, listen, read and write and even discuss with each other on the internet at the same time. All these techniques are important for education, even Buddhist Education. Now it is expanding all the time and becoming modern.

Printing materials

Books, magazines, newspapers and all other printing materials are now spreading all over the world very quickly with new knowledge. And this applies even to Buddhism. Therefore one can pick and chose any reading material according to one′s own wish. This is also a good opportunity for Buddhist education.

Visual techniques

There are different kinds of visual media  and affiliated techniques in the modern world. Paintings , photo, drama, theatre, film, televised drama, video, TV, CD, DVD & USB are just some of them. The availability of these kinds of visual media  is very important for any education system in the modern world, even Buddhist education. It is very useful, practical and becoming very popular.

Hearing techniques

The availability of the radio, cassette etc. is also helpful for the Education. Many find it easier to do their self-study courses as they can make of this opportunity to study while walking or during recreation time.

Educational institutions

Today there are many Educational institutions such as schools, colleges and universities. Likewise there are Theravada and Mahayana schools that are run both locally  and internationally. And new institutions are being born. In this connection I would like to mention that I myself have started to build a new institute, namely: Dhammasarana International Buddhist Research Institute for Peace & Prosperity. (DIBRIP&P). I have already started a Trust in Sri Lanka under the Government Department of Public Trustee to run this place. The board of directors of this Trust are specialized scholars. We have already planned and estimated the Institution's building which will cost S.L. Rs.191 m. The project will begin soon and we hope to finish it by next year. My feelings are very positive in this case and I fervently hope that it would be a success. Our aim is to enhance International Buddhist research in order to develop world peace and prosperity.

Educational gatherings

More than ever before, we have many gatherings locally  and internationally today such as Forums, Summits, Conferences, Seminars etc. In this modern world this is a very popular method now.  It is really important and very helpful to understand each other,  share the knowledge and discuss different views so as to . benefits the progress of human dialogue and globalisation.

Research

In this field there are some good projects and they are going on well.

Challenges

Resourses

1. Economical:
One of the main challenges in developing Buddhist education is economy. It is often difficult to raise funds for any project concerning Buddhist education. According to experience support is mostly given in material items such as books but not in cash, which becomes a hindrance for easy development of Buddhist educational projects.

2. Human:
To develop Buddhist education it is necessary to have well-educated personnel. There are people available but it is not sufficient. It is also important that those who engage themselves in this worthy cause have a genuine interest and dedication.

3. Technical products:
To acquire technical items such as TVs, video cameras etc, can be a difficult aspect.

4. International co-ordination:
The lack of good co-operation among the Buddhist educational institutions, both in the Theravada and Mahayana schools worldwide hampers the development and progress of Buddhist education.

5. Interest and curiosity:
Buddhism is gaining ground around the world. People are curious to learn Buddhism. There are not enough institutions and organisations to fulfil this demand.

6. Research:
As mentioned earlier there are certain projects in this field but it is not enough and not well-promoted.

7. Negative propaganda:
Owing to the fact that people are becoming aware of Buddhism and its doctrine, there are negative influences in societies that are working to hamper this development and it is our duty to be aware of the situation.

May all beings be happy!

 

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