Neohumanist Education is practiced in a network of schools and institutes that span over fifty countries with hundreds of kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and children’s homes that have been established over the past 50 years. Some of these schools have been recognized for their excellence by local governmental education authorities and have been given funding.
Others of these schools are in deprived environments where the teacher, parents and children struggle to find the simplest of equipment. From the perspective of the West many of the third world schools will look very poor indeed, yet they have significant support from their communities and provide sound elementary education where none was to be found before.
The schools are managed by dedicated staff and volunteers who work to bring joy and learning into the lives of the young.
Role of the School in the Community
In many parts of the world, the role of the NHE school goes beyond the classroom and extends to the community as a whole by reaching out in service to nurture all members of the family. By building positive relationships with families they work to provide the support that families often need to improve the lives, not just of the children, but of all members irrespective of gender or age. The school plays an extended role in the community in helping to meet children’s basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, education and health care. It also serves as a centre of community activities and services for adults to help create better lives.
By offering after-school child care for instance women are helped to work outside the home. Such a facility gives women and men the peace of mind they need to help improve the families’ finances. The school offers adult literacy programs and assists with job training and the development of cottage industries.
Pre and post-natal education and care is also be offered through some schools. Better access to health care both for the mother and child can act as buffer for many negative influences like prenatal complications such as low birth weight and premature births, and exposure to parental substance addiction and environmental toxins such as lead exposure. The school sometimes offers other health support with a naturopath, homeopath and counseling services. It can also offer meditation and yoga classes for stress relief and spiritual development.