We are deeply influenced by the educational philosophy propounded by the renowned Japanese educational reformer Kuniyoshi Obara* (1887-1977). He called his theory ‘Zenjin Education.’ The Japanese word ‘Zenjin’ means ‘whole man’ or ‘whole person.’ Thus his theory is often called ‘whole man education’ or ‘whole person education.’ We are absolutely convinced that the remedy of most of the ills that plague our educational system today lies in ‘Zenjin’ education. Obara propounded this educational theory since he strongly believed that the biggest shortcoming of the Japanese educational system was a huge deficiency in cultivating cultural and ethical values in students. Zenjin is an ideal form of education which incorporates the values of human cultural harmoniously into personality.
We find a strikingly similar situation in the Indian context. We, as parents, are obsessed with our child’s attainments in academics. We also put a lot of emphasis on preparation for entrance examinations. Our children find it convenient to indulge in rote memorization and cramming. All this terribly hinders the child’s growth towards becoming a responsible, natural, genuine human being. The sad result is a lop-sided, unilateral and paralytic development. Zenjin education enables the free and full development of a well-balanced human personality. Kuniyoshi Obara believed that there are six areas of human culture: academics, morality, art, religion, the body and livelihood. He called them ‘cultural values.’ He was of the view that the ideal of academics is truth; the ideal of morality is goodness; the ideal of art is beauty; the ideal of religion is holiness; the ideal of the body is health; and the ideal of livelihood is wealth. He strongly believed that the ideal of education is the harmonious development of all these six values.
We, at Wisdom, strive hard to cultivate all these values in our students to mould and nurture them into complete, genuine human beings who attain excellence not just in academics but also in other vital fields of life. All the students are exposed to a number of co-curricular and extracurricular activities to make them realize their potential and follow their heart. A number of workshops are also conducted from time to time throughout the year for students as well as teachers to keep them updated. All these activities in one way or the other contribute towards the harmonious development of students’ personality which is exactly what Zenjin education is all about. We are proud of the fact that we are the only school in the whole of India following Zenjin philosophy of education.
*Obara, Kuniyoshi. Theory of Zenjin Education. Translated by Douglas A. Trelfa. Edited by Yoshiaki Obara & ZENJIN EDUCATION Tamangawa Gakuen. Zenjin Education Research Institute. Tokyo: Tamagawa University Press, 2003