City Montessori School wins UNESCO Peace Education award

LUCKNOW, India (BWNS) - City Montessori School, a large private school with a Bahá'í-inspired curriculum that stresses world citizenship and religious tolerance, has been awarded the 2002 UNESCO Prize for Peace Education.

Awarded annually by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the honor was given to City Montessori School (CMS) this year "in recognition of its efforts to promote the universal values of education for peace and a time when these values and principles are increasingly being challenged," according to a UNESCO press release dated 6 June 2002.

Founded in 1959, the school has a reputation for a high level of academic excellence - and for a distinctive program of moral and spiritual education.

"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," said the UNESCO release. "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."

The founders are also Bahá'ís - and they said that the Bahá'í teachings have likewise greatly inspired their work and the school's curriculum. "We have been following the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh, and these teachings have led us to work more and more for world peace," said Bharti Gandhi.

Mrs. Gandhi said when they founded the school, she and her husband were followers of Mahatma Gandhi. Both accepted the Bahá'í Faith in 1974, and since then they have increasingly incorporated principles of world citizenship and human oneness into the curriculum. "We rededicated ourselves to the cause of world unity," said Mrs. Gandhi, who is the school's director.

[To read a full report on the City Montessori School, featured in a previous issue of ONE COUNTRY, click on this link.]