Sri Dalada International Buddhist Academy: Another Norwegian project
Monday 17 May 2010
The Norwegian Embassy has supported the formation of the Sri Lanka International Buddhist Academy (SIBA) in Pallekele, Kandy. SIBA is a unique liberal arts higher educational institution set up within a monastic and eco-friendly environment.
It is both national and international in scope, grounded on Buddhist principles, and designed to produce local, national, and international religious, social, and political leaders who are simultaneously Dhamma practitioners and disseminators.
At the core of the academic programme of the SIBA is a philosophy of active and co-operative learning, critical thinking and critical analysis for finding viable solutions for the world-wide human and environmental problems and issues, in a spirit of collaboration, inquiry and multicultural understanding.
This is not an institute which merely provides academic learning and theoretical knowledge but aims at giving an education based on the sublime teachings of the Buddha that will be conducive to the emergence of future leaders who give proper moral direction to the community for the amelioration of the human predicament in all aspects of living such as economic, social, political and religious.
The main educational programme is aimed at young people and there are various short term courses and workshops for all religious leaders, the general public, tourists and researchers.
The Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies of the Peradeniya University gives immense strength to the Buddhist Academy. This is a residential campus and provides accommodation for all the students. The monks, nuns, female lay students and the male lay students are housed in separate residential quarters.
The study of Buddhism can be approached with the aim and the objective of providing a philosophical alternative in the search for the meaning of life and opting for a more humane mode of living.
However, in an academic context this could be done from a non-dogmatic and critical standpoint that promotes tolerance of other points of view and dialogue with other alternative philosophies of life inculcating a value orientation in the learner that could eventually contribute to peaceful and harmonious living.
The fundamental philosophy on which the Academy is based is the Buddhist notion that ignorance and confused thinking is the root cause of most social problems and moral crises.
Hence an effective education leading to the practical consequence of transformation of human behavior through the development of understanding and insight is the primary objective of the Academy.
Norway’s decision to support the International Buddhist Academy was based on two main reasons, firstly because of the wide scope of its curriculum which discusses issues ranging from Human Rights to conflict resolution. Secondly because of the element of peace, understanding and respecting of diverse views that’s encapsulated in the Buddhist philosophy.
Source : http://www.dailymirror.lk