Ministry considers ‘TM’ in Trinidad and Tobego schools

The use of transcendental meditation in schools is being considered by the Ministry of Education as a tool to deal with the problem of troubled and under-performing students.

Steve Williams, supervisor, Guidance Officer Unit, Ministry of Education, speaking yesterday at the “Improve the Brain Campaign” held by the Trinidad and Tobago Peace Government at the Hilton Trinidad, said that a presentation on the subject would be made on Monday to teachers and principals in a move “to open up their eyes” to the benefits of meditation.

Transcendental Meditation

“Transcendental Meditation was ruled a religion by the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, Docket No. 76-341 (H.C.M.) Civil Action, in the case of Alan B. Malnak. et al., Plaintiffs, v. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, et al., Defendants, in a summary judgment issued October 19, 1977, followed by an order and judgment, filed December 12, 1977.”
- Is TM a religion?

The seminar, which was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, was geared towards developing the total brain function and using this as the key to consciousness-based education.

Dr Richard Thompson, Minister of Education of the Trinidad and Tobago Peace Government, said he has seen the effect this technology (transcendental meditation) has had “on improving self-confidence, social interaction and academic performance”.

Dr Alarik Arenander, director, Brain Research Institute, Iowa, United States of America, in delivering the feature presentation, said it would not matter if students were given the best facilities “if they are not awake”.

Arenander, who has 35 years of brain research experience, said if 300 students were exposed to transcendental meditation for three to six months, he believed they would change their entire school and that this change would eventually have an impact on the nation as a whole.

Trevor Oliver, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association, said that while he was not aware of the consideration being given to the use of transcendental meditation, “anything dealing with prayer and meditation” being implemented in the schools would be a positive thing.

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