Golden Link College Foundation, Philippines
Golden Link College Foundation is a school established in 2002 by the Theosophical Order of Service Foundation Philippines and the Theosophical Society in the Philippines. As of 2019, it has 760 students with courses offered in preschool, elementary, high school, senior high school and collegiate levels. In the college level, it offers Bachelor's Degrees in Secondary Education, Elementary Education, Information Technology, Psychology, Business Administration, and Accounting Information System.
Golden Link is the third theosophical school established in the Philippines. Its educational philosophy can be traced to three sources: the educational teachings of J. Krishnamurti, the Self-Transformation Seminar, and the theosophical teachings on the nature and destiny of human beings.
As a school, it seeks to:
a. Develop a wholesome personality.
b. Remove and avoid negative behavior patterns such as fear, hatred, anger, depressiveness, etc.
c. Inculcate wholesome character or a clear sense of what is right and wrong
d. Develop self-mastery over one's personality
e. Develop life competencies such as effective relationship, effective communication, self-discipline, result-orientedness, etc.
f. Develop professional skills, founded on good language and mathematical skills
g. Develop the capacity for happiness as an individual
h. Develop spiritual sensitivity and intuition
The school makes use of teaching methodologies that endeavor to achieve the goals of the school as spelled above. For example:
- It does not use fear, shouting or punishment in motivating students to do certain things
- There are no rankings or competition in the school. When there is a speech program, all the students without exception would be trained and will deliver individual speeches on the stage in the presence of parents and visitors. Such a program can take five whole days to finish. There are no winners or medalists. Each one will try to do one's best.
- Students are taught how to handle stress and psychological distress, such as through scanning and self-awareness processing. Once a year, a four-day youth camp is held for high school and collegiate students to work out life skills, such as effective relationship, removal of fears and phobias, integration of values into daily living, etc.
- Through an atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement, students develop self-esteem and self-confidence
- Basic skills in language (English) and mathematics are given emphasis, these being the foundations for higher knowledge and competencies.
- Grades are not given high importance.
- Parents are regular given parenting lessons and talks so that their parenting approaches will harmonize with the educational approach of the school.
- Teachers are trained in the Self-Transformation Seminar in order to develop self-awareness, self-mastery and personal integration.
- Students join the Circle Time every day as a community activity
- All students practice regular meditation during circle time
How It Was Established
The school was an offshoot of a previous community preschool in northern Caloocan City. When parents requested that the TOS should also put up a grade school, the TOS looked for an affordable parcel of land in the area. It started with about 1,300 square meters of land. The first two buildings were donated by Blue Bell Foundation. An extension building was funded by MS Foundation of France. The fourth extension building was funded by a private corporation. The sixth construction was partly funded by the TOS USA - Kern Foundation grant and supplemented by Borland Development Corp.
In the first ten years, the tuition fees received were not sufficient to meet the salaries and actual expenses. Afterward, there were more middle-income families who began to enroll in the school and were paying full tuition fees. The support of annual donations and scholarships by private individual and organizations helped sustain the operations. A major source was the TOS USA - Kern Foundation annual grant to Golden Link. A group of supporters in various countries around the world, such as from New Zealand, France, Australia, United Kingdom, etc., send their donations to the Golden Link through the TOS USA. The donations are matched by the Kern Foundation up to a certain amount, and the combined donations are send to Golden Link. Then, the government offered scholarships in private high schools especially after the introduction of senior high school in the Philippines in 2016. This substantially helped the operational finances of the school. The need for land acquisition and building construction still had to be separately raised by the school.
Opening of Affiliate Schools and Branches
Two theosophists from Bacolod City and Cebu decided to start their own schools based on the Golden Link system. They are the Philippine Lumen School (from preschool to Grade 10) and the Alesna Integrated School (Preschool to Grade 3). The costs of land and buildings were entirely financed by the members, and Golden Link trains the teachers and provides the teaching methodology. A branch was opened also in Bohol called the Golden Link College, Bohol Campus (pre-school to Grade 5). In 2018, the earliest school established, Sunshine Learning Center, was converted into a branch of Golden Link College.
In 2019, GLC assisted in the start of a similar school in Adyar, Chennai, India at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society. It is called Adyar Theosophical Academy and is intended to go up to high school level.
Training of Teachers
Teachers of branches of affiliates are trained in the GLC main campus. The training can range from two months to one year depending upon the circumstances. The food and stay are shouldered by the main campus, with an honorarium provided to the teachers during the training.
The website of the college is http://theosophy.ph/goldenlinkcollege.html
For those interested in starting their own schools and would wish to know more about the Golden Link school group or visit the campuses, they may get in touch with Vic Hao Chin Jr., president of Golden Link, at firstname.lastname@example.org.