Dear brothers and sisters,
The recent happenings at ISPS are causing growing concerns in our sangha. The CC recognizes having no jurisdiction over Sahaja schools but the matter of the education of our children cannot be dealt with behind closed doors. The CC has been invited specifically by the growing concern of some parents, and in the context of conflicting reports, it offers these observations.
In 2013 the CC was approached by parents as the state of ISPS left much to be desired with reports of unacceptable behaviors of some students. In 2014 Marcel & Mary Kuhn were hired as General Manager and Principal to address these issues and bring the school back in line with the standards of a Sahaj school. According to most parents and students, this seems to have been a success.
The concerns conflicting the parents today are linked to the firing of Marcel & Mary Kuhn and the reasons behind this development. Slanders started to circulate concerning their record, their character and their being sahaja yogis. For instance they were accused of racism or embezzlement of funds. The official reason for their departure was alleged visa problems but communications from concerned parents and the Manager himself point that this was not the real issue.
The communications from the former General Manager from the ISPS School and from the representatives of parents, express the sense that yogis have a responsibility to inform themselves in sending children to a school for the main reason that the school is specifically and genuinely run according to Sahaja principles. And that, if they find these conditions wanting, they have a responsibility to communicate to other parents who are ignorant of the facts and would send their children. These communications offer information about the order of events as well as insights into the state of affairs.
In his detailed and factual account the General Manager acknowledges that he was fired because he was inquiring about financial and administrative handling within the framework of his duties. Other elements of information that surfaced relate to the state of neglect of the students that preceded their arrival, and the fact that, despite all calls for transparency and offers of cooperation, the board/society controlling ISPS continues to proceed in a secretive manner, disregarding standards of accountability that are normally accepted in private schools in India.
We are facing a situation in which neither the parents and nor even the General Manager and Principal were able to figure out the names of the members of the society who control major decisions for ISPS.
The other issue that is of great concern for many parents is the substantial increase in school fees. Without full financial transparency it is hard to know if the increase of fees is justified. The school should be serving the interests of Sahaja Yoga not the interests of the board/society.
Given the track record of the ISPS board/society and the problems that have persisted over many years it would seem that one way forward is to have a renewal of membership ISPS management with competent SY administrators and professionals in the education field. ISPS has also on previous occasions attempted to get IBO accreditation but in the end it was dropped because of the high costs and standards that were very difficult to achieve. Should we not instead be working towards a truly Sahaja education curriculum?
The uncertainty around who controls or owns the school is another point of worry, given the unwillingness of this group (Board/Society) to provide concrete answers. People feel helpless to move these entrenched positions and members of the sangha express a growing sense of frustration. The Central Committee can only repeat the appeal to Sadhana Varma and those responsible of ISPS to restore confidence in their management, to re-install the spirit of Shri Mataji and to establish the necessary collaboration and communication with the SY sangha.
As long as the current absence of transparency, cooperation and openness remains, we do not feel that ISPS meets the standards of a Sahaja institution and consequently the responsibility of sending children to ISPS can only rest with the parents. We advise parents to continue requesting the Board to come through on the verbal commitment taken after the most dramatic and tragic events of 2013.
Is there still hope that, what has once been a beacon light in the culture of SY, can be maintained and again be established in its original dharma and spiritual essence?
The Management of ISPS certainly wishes to avoid that, once more, the public authorities of some countries turn against the parents who send their children to Dharmsala. We urge them to help if the school is to host children from abroad, as per the wish of its Founder Shri Mataji. The firing of the Principal and of the general Manager definitely sent the wrong signal. A concrete package of measures must be taken so that transparency, accountability and care for students match standards of good practices accepted in India or in the countries of origin of students. This is not too much to ask if this school is to remain the school of Shri Mataji.
We pray to Shri Mataji and seek HER divine attention on the matter.
The members of the Central Committee