UNESCO Prize for Peace for CMS School Lucknow
- Dear EdResource Members,
Press Release No.2002-37
THE CITY MONTESSORI SCHOOL (INDIA) AWARDED THE 2002 UNESCO PRIZE FOR
Paris, June 6 - UNESCO Director-General Kochiro Matsuura awarded the
UNESCO Prize for Peace Education to the City Montessori School
(India) on June 5 following its recommendation by the prize's
international jury. Meeting on June 3 and 4 at Organization
Headquarters, the jury commended the school "in recognition of its
efforts to promote the universal values of education for peace and
tolerance and to renew the principles of secularism at a time when
these values and principles are increasingly being challenged."
The City Montessori School (CMS), founded in 1959 in Lucknow in the
state of Uttar Pradesh, is not a school like any other. It is
distinctive not only for its size -- with 25,000 pupils from
kindergarten up to high school level, it figures in the Guinness Book
of Records as the biggest private school in the world -- or the
quality of its teaching. Its students systematically score higher on
exams than the national average.
More than anything it stands out because of it its philosophy: For
more than 40 years it has educated students to respect the values of
tolerance and peace and sought to make them citizens of the world.
The school's founders, Jagdish and Bharti Gandhi, inspired by the
non-violence of Mahatma Gandhi, founded their school on four
fundamental principles: universal values, excellence, global
understanding, and service to the community. Students, for example,
give literacy classes in neighbouring villages, as well as teaching
health and hygiene.
The school aims to give pupils the skills permitting them to face the
complex problems of the world today, by displaying trust for each
child, by developing their sense of responsibility, by the
theoretical and practical teaching of moral values, and by opening
their eyes to other religions and cultures.
The recognition given to the importance of the family is one of the
characteristics of the CMS. The school sensitizes parents by giving
them books on their educational influence and involving them closely
in the life of the school. And the teachers benefit from continued
training in the main principles of the school, as well as in child
development, psychology and sociology. Each child has a mentor who
engages in a personal relationship with his or her charge's family.
Another characteristic of the City Montessori School is the emphasis
it places on educational research. Its Innovation Wing employs 25
people who identify and bring in the best educational theories and
practices from whatever country, sourcing techniques from the
Montessori method,robotics, tutorial systems or management practices.
The US$30,000,UNESCO Prize for Peace Education has been awarded since
1981 to promote initiatives that seek to improve public awareness and
to mobilize opinion in favour of peace. Funding for the Prize is
provided though a donation from the Nippon Foundation. In 2001, the
Prize was given to the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace in Givat Haviva
in Israel and to Ugandan Bishop Nelson Onono-Onweng. Previous prize-
winners include: the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Argentina),
Prayudh Payutto (Thailand), Mother Teresa (India), Rigoberta Mench
Tum (Guatemala), and Paulo Freire (Brazil).
The time and venue of the prize-giving ceremony will be decided later.
Contact: Monique Perrot-Lanaud, Bureau of Public Information,
Section, Tel: (+33) (0)1 45 68 45 40, m.perrot@...