Australian Baha'i Sites

The emergence of a school system rooted in Baha’i moral education 

Over the past few years, a group of parents in Shell Cove, New South Wales have been working to forge a strong relationship with the local primary school and collaborating with the principal to establish an institute school in their very own neighbourhood. 

There are currently some 40 children attending the Baha’i moral education classes at the primary school. “The school supports the Friday afternoon classes by promoting them and providing classrooms for free,” says local resident Fresia Sabeti. “The sign at the front of the school also displays the values.” 

This emerging institute school features three children’s classes covering grades 1, 2 and 3 from the Ruhi curriculum, a parents’ group exploring concepts from the Ruhi main sequence, and regular family festivals that look to strengthen bonds of friendship within the community. “The mothers attend weekly, and they plan the activities at the family festival. They take ownership by providing afternoon tea each week at the school [and] by organising refreshments at the festival.” 

Children participating in a local children’s class.

The families involved are also regularly engaged in social action by working together on initiating short-term service projects in the neighbourhood such as homework clubs, collecting donations for the women’s shelter, and Clean-up Australia Day. 

Fresia says over the next few months, the core group of individuals will be working alongside the school to establish the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program for students in grade 6. “An initial conversation has taken place with the school principal, and he is supportive of the program,” she says. “He has advised the assistant principal to share the flyer and registration link with all the year 6 parents. There will be a presentation at the year 6 school assembly this term to share more information.” 

“The school is very supportive of the institute and as the principal has witnessed transformation in the participants, he promotes spiritual education,” Fresia says.

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Shell Cove

A seaside neighbourhood south of Wollongong, New South Wales, the Shell Cove community is working to strengthen the Baha’i moral education process taking root in its locality using the Ruhi institute as its driving force.

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Published in June, 2024, in Community Stories > Community Building

Available online at: horizons.bahai.org.au/community-stories/the-emergence-of-a-school-system-rooted-in-bahai-moral-education/

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