"Education is not limited to the classroom and should be widely extended to the neighbourhood communities.
The motto of Tzu Chi Continuing Education Centre is to plant the seeds of goodness into the field of every human heart."
- Dharma Master Cheng Yen
Since 1997, Tzu Chi University has been establishing Continuing Education Centres around Taiwan, to promote and encourage life-long learning. The fourth overseas Tzu Chi Continuing Education Centre was established in Tzu Chi Singapore’s Jing Si Hall, and it was officially inaugurated on 18th December 2005.
Besides providing life-long learning opportunities, the Centre hopes to inspire kindness and wisdom in students in the warmth of Tzu Chi’s humanistic culture. We hope that the students will further bring their learning experiences home to share with their loved ones.
Humanistic Education within the Community
The Centre offers a variety of artistic and health-oriented courses that are held in well-equipped multi-purpose classrooms located within the Jing Si Hall. Apart from imparting knowledge and skills, these courses help to enhance students’ spiritual and emotional well-being in the midst of life’s hustle and bustle through a focus on humanistic values. Some of the popular courses available for public enrolment include Jing Si Tea Art, Floral Arrangement, Sign Language & Songs, Chinese Ink Painting, Calligraphy, Yoga, Vegetarian Cooking, etc. To date, the Centre has received more than 7,000 sign-ups for its courses.
The Training of a “Humanistic” Teacher
It takes time to groom and nurture a teacher with solid professional knowledge and skillsets as well as humanistic qualities and good aesthetic tastes. After the Continuing Education Centre in Singapore was established, a team of over ten Tzu Chi volunteers travelled to Taiwan periodically, to undergo training in Jing Si Floral Arrangement & Tea Art, Tzu Chi Sign Language, and Vegetarian Cooking. These volunteers have since returned to serve as trainers for the courses themselves, and these courses have gained increasing popularity among students.
Elegant and Cosy Classrooms
Located within the Jing Si Hall, the Centre’s classrooms are brightly lit and elegantly decorated, with laminate flooring and wooden furniture. Dharma Master Cheng Yen hopes that the Jing Si Hall, as a spiritual cultivation ground, is not just the home of Tzu Chi volunteers, but also serves to create blessings for society through offering an education infused with humanistic values. One of the Centre’s goals is to foster a community spirit of love and care, and the annual or biannual Graduation Ceremony cum Exhibition provides an excellent platform for that.
Graduation Ceremony cum Exhibition
Each year, the Graduation Ceremony cum Exhibition is made possible by the dedicated efforts of all the teachers and students of the Centre. The event showcases various creative and artistic works of the students, allowing visitors to experience beauty and goodness in an atmosphere imbued with Tzu Chi’s humanistic culture.
Volunteers Serve as “Bridges” Between Students and Teachers
In every class, there are friendly Tzu Chi volunteers who help to send reminders to students, tidy up the classroom, prepare class materials, etc. The volunteers also take advantage of break time to share Master Cheng Yen’s Jing Si Aphorisms with the students or to provide them with updates on the latest Tzu Chi activities. The Master hopes that these class volunteers do not only serve as assistants to the teachers, but also as important bridges between the students and teachers, as well as help to promote Tzu Chi’s humanistic values within the conducive environment.
Spirit of Volunteerism Inspires Kindness
The spirit of volunteerism has also taken root in our students and teachers. Whenever Tzu Chi Singapore organises a fundraising activity, they will respond to the call by serving with love. Some of the teachers will also arrange for their students to participate in the charity events of other organisations. The students will join their teachers in lending their artistic talents and skills to these causes, inspiring charity among members of the public to donate generously to help those in need.
When we put our talents and skills to good use, we are working for a good cause. Please feel free to visit our Mission of Education webpage to further understand what Tzu Chi’s holistic education entails.
An education infused with beauty and goodness will help build characters of beauty and goodness. With purified hearts and minds, we can bring about purity in society.