Modern Education & Sanskrit; Leadership Lecture Series by Paul Palmarozza & Helen Harper
“Nothing can be as great as a child learning something by heart. It stays with them forever and this is the greatest of all gifts for them”
Language has been an important means of communication for centuries. And, in fact, it is one of the prime factors that fosters overall child development and skill enhancement during initial years of education. India is a land of many languages and its rich lingual heritage is by far the most sustainable and powerful way of enhancing the modern education system.
To bring forth the value and encourage Sanskrit’s use in augmenting the modern system of education, an interactive session was taken by Mr. Paul Palmarozza (Director of Sanskrit, St. James School) and Ms. Helen Harpar (Former teacher & Head – Sanskrit, St. James). Mr. Paul is an active member of St. James School and has been with the institution for the last 35 years. Apart from numerous operations performed for the institution, Mr. Palmarozza has been promoting teaching of Sanskrit in schools worldwide. He has actively been involved in raising awareness on the value of the subject, developing teaching materials for students and teachers, running teacher training courses, and supporting the expansion of the Cambridge Sanskrit exams.
Beginning with the insightful session, Mr. Paul Palmarozza spoke at length about how this Indian language (Sanskrit) has given birth to so many other languages like English, and most European languages, and how deeply it can be used to propagate value based teaching across schools in countries. The session conducted was a one on one session with teachers of Global Indian International School (GIIS), Noida that focussed on establishing various ways of using Sanskrit as a regular way of teaching in classrooms. He also emphasized on the value of meditation and stillness, which must be practiced by teachers and students both. The idea is to give students and teachers some time to stay calm and do nothing but meditate so that the switching between lessons or periods becomes more productive for both the entities. Mr. Palmarozza lingered on the value of self-control as he believes that self-control in this materialistic world can prove magical especially for the youth of this country.
As the session advanced Ms. Helen Harpar introduced some never heard before facts about the language. Highlighting various benefits of using Sanskrit to link it with every aspect of education, she emphasized on the ways by which Sanskrit harmonizes entities of other subjects like Maths, Science, English, etc. She also stressed on the fact that Sanskrit is not like any other language, it’s the finest form of literature ever made and gives a clear gaze at the human mind – sprititually, emotionally and mentally.
Ms. Helen Harper has been a teacher of Chemistry and subsequently Sanskrit since 1988. Before that she was managing a branch of Boots the Chemist is London as she owns a degree in Pharmacy. After teaching for 20 long years at St. James, Ms. Harper is voluntarily teaching and promoting Sanskrit to students and teachers worldwide. Apart from her love for Sanskrit and Chemistry, she also maintains a deep interest in practical philosophy.