EDUCATION FOR ENLIGHTENMENT
Photos by Amine Kouider
Transcendental Meditation in Schools Around the World
The Transcendental Meditation technique has rapidly become a well-recognized and successful evidence-based educational tool for enhancing the lives of students all around the world.
Our schools in Uganda are among the many hundreds of schools on every continent where the Transcendental Meditation technique is practiced—including flagship institutions such as Maharishi Institute, South Africa; Maharishi School, and Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, USA; Maharishi Free School, Lancashire, United Kingdom; Maharishi School, Victoria, Australia; Raja Park Institute and Dhammajarenee Witthava Free School in Thailand; Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools throughout India; and Maharishi Basischool ‘De Fontein’, The Netherlands. There are also hundreds of schools throughout North and South America that offer quiet time programmes—including programmes in San Francisco schools in USA, as well as an initiative by the government of Brazil to teach TM in every school.
The Ideal Girls School-Uganda in Mbale District
The Ideal Girls School (IGS) is a rare achievement by a unique school, created to fill the need for education for girls in Uganda. The Transcendental Meditation is a core feature of the school—all students learn the TM technique upon entering the school and enjoy twice daily practice at the beginning and end of the school day.
Photo by Amine Kouider
- Ideal Girls School, Mbale District, was licensed to operate in 2009 under the name Maharishi Secondary School for Girls.
- In January 2010 Maharishi Secondary School for Girls gained Registration by the Uganda Government as a private secondary school.
- In April 2010 Maharishi Secondary School for Girls, Mbale District, was awarded a Uganda National Examination Board number as a National Exam Centre.
- Maharishi Secondary School for Girls gained full accreditation as a secondary school in just 14 months after being licensed. These highest levels of accreditation for a secondary school in Uganda usually take several years for a school to obtain.
- After 3 successful years of National examinations at Senior 4 level, Ideal Girls High School was accredited to add Senior 5 and 6 classes beginning in 2013.
- In 2016 the name of the school was changed to Ideal Girls School.
What the Students Have to Say:
When I meditate I feel happier than before. I feel more energetic and improved in my thinking about my life. When I meditate my mind becomes settled and I feel confident in my work. I find that there is more clarity in my mind and I am able to solve any problem, and I am able to socialize with other students due to greater happiness in my life.M.J., Senior Two
Since I learned TM, my health has started improving and I have become more energetic. Meditation has also relieved my stresses, and it has improved my happiness and love for everyone. With meditation I feel strong and relaxed. Meditation has improved my understanding at school, and I have become more self-reliant and have greater self-control.L.J., Form Two
Since I started meditating I have improved in my general health. I have improved in my academic performance. I have increased self-esteem. I feel free from stress and anxiety. I feel greater happiness, which has even spread to my family.C.E., Form Two
What the Directors Have to Say:
Ideal Girls School is helping to make Ugandan families healthier. Educated women understand how to feed and care for their families. But most Ugandan girls do not even attend secondary school, and even fewer complete their secondary school years or attend a university. Another example of the need for education for girls is in combatting HIV/AIDS in Uganda… Ideal Girls School gives girls a natural focus on more life-supporting values.
Ideal Girls School offers the most unique education in the world for Ugandan girls, providing an opportunity for them to succeed, flourish and become leaders for Uganda and all of Africa. Research shows that in Consciousness-Based Education there is less absenteeism and fewer drop outs. Girls who remain in school grow naturally in the ability to focus, learn more, understand issues of health, and set strong life priorities. They are prepared for a fuller life and for raising healthy families.Grant and Barbrah Lusimbo
Peace High School
Honorable Erinah Rutangye and husband Martin Rutangye are the Directors of Peace High School in Kampala where the Transcendental Meditation technique has been offered since 2012 as the Quiet Time Programme. Hon. Rutangye describes the programme and the benefits for students that they have noticed:
Peace High School has offered instruction in the Transcendental Meditation technique to our students, currently with 40 participants. The school has timetabled 20 minutes from 7:00-7:20AM and 5:00-5:20PM as quiet time for the whole school. Those who meditate have a special room for meditating and the rest of the students stay in their classes during the quiet time.
Our meditators have made us really proud. They are punctual, helpful to other students, and smart. They are good at sports and in class. We generally don’t have boy-girl problems, however, our TM girl students are more confident while talking to boys. So far our students who meditate are showing themselves to be top performers on O level exams. That alone tells that TM is sharpening their brains.Hon. Erinah Rutangye
TM Club For University Women
The TM Club for University Women offers women in higher education the opportunity to come together to enjoy group meditation, advanced lectures, seminars and short courses, volunteer work and meetings with international leaders. Because the strength of society and the character of national life directly depend on the quality of consciousness of the women of the nation, it is through the personal growth and enlightenment of women everywhere that we will most effectively and peacefully transform the world.
EDAPO (Economic Development and AIDS Prevention Organization), situated just north of the capital of Kampala, provides food, shelter, education, and basic medical care to hundreds of children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Over half of these children are also living with HIV/AIDS. The EDAPO school has implemented the Transcendental Meditation practice for its students. School leaders have found that the Transcendental Meditation technique has helped these children overcome depression and has brought back the spark of joy for them.
Scientific Research on the Benefits of the Transcendental Meditation Technique in Education
- Increased GPA, decreased dropout rate, and increased higher education acceptance rate
Education 133: (4):495-501, 2013
- Reduced teacher burnout
The Permanente Journal 18(1): 19-23, 2014
- 10% improvement in test scores and GPA
Education 131: 556–565, 2011
- Increased attendance and decreased suspensions for high school students
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 1:10, 2003
- Reduced ADHD symptoms and symptoms of other learning disorders
Mind & Brain: The Journal of Psychiatry 2 (1): 73-81, 2011
- Increased intelligence and creativity
Intelligence 29: 419-440, 2001
- 40% reduction in psychological distress, including stress, anxiety and depression
American Journal of Hypertension 22(12): 1326-1331, 2009
- At-risk adolescents reduce stress, anxiety and hyperactivity
Annual Meeting of the Society for Behavioral Medicine, March 2008
- Twice as effective as other relaxation techniques for decreasing trait anxiety
Journal of Clinical Psychology45(6): 957-974, 1989
- Increased field independence and art achievement in meditating college students
Perceptual and Motor Skills 75: 1171-1175, 1992
- Improved postgraduate academic performance
British Journal of Educational Psychology 55: 164-166, 1985
- Achievement gains at Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, USA
Education 107: 49-54. 1986/ 109: 302-304, 1989
- Improved cognitive and affective functioning
College Student Journal 15: 140-146, 1981
- Reduced stress and reduced negative school behavior in adolescents
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 1:10, 2003