Establishing Free Schools
The Venerable Master Hua saw clearly that in order to save the world, the most urgent priority is to develop good education. If we want to save the world, we have to bring about a complete change in people's minds and guide them to cast out unwholesomeness and to pursue goodness. For this purpose the Master founded Instilling Goodness Elementary School in 1976 and the Developing Virtue Secondary School in 1980. The schools are free, students did not need to pay any tuition fees.
Raising the national flag at the Boys' school.
The Master indicated that the elementary school should teach students to be filial to parents and respectful to teachers and elders, the secondary school should teach students to be good citizens. Instilling Goodness Elementary School and Developing Virtue Secondary School merge the best of contemporary and traditional methods and of Western and Eastern cultures. Due to the emphasis on moral virtue and spiritual development, in addition to the required academic curriculum, courses are offered in ethics, meditation, Buddhist studies, and so on, giving students a foundation in virtue and guiding them gradually to know themselves and to explore the truths of the universe. Boys and girls are educated separately in order to avoid distractions and preserve their pure natures. In addition to that, the Master also directed that the schools raise the national flag in the morning as a mark of respect for the nation. Students are also required to wear uniforms in order to instill a sense of discipline.
At the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, the elementary and secondary schools offer bilingual education (Chinese and English). Due to the many different cultures and nationalities that are represented among the teaching staff and student body, multiple grades are grouped together to allow students more flexibility in academic progress. Students learn to open their minds to respect and appreciate different cultural traditions. In offering an education based on virtue, Instilling Goodness Elementary School and Developing Virtue Secondary School hope to guide students to become good and capable citizens of the world, thus benefitting all of humankind. Aside from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, branches of the schools have also been formed at other affiliated monasteries with the aim of widely propagating filial piety and ethical education.