A meeting to improve the educational system within Don Bosco institutions


The Principals and Headmasters of Don Bosco schools, Technical institutes and colleges met at Deepak Centenary Hall in The Citadel, Kilpauk, Chennai on March 10, 2018 to discuss and deliberate on important matters pertaining to the functioning of the various centres. Fr. Provincial addressed the gathering and highlighted the following important suggestions:

    “We have to create a climate that is conducive to the students to be nurtured gradually, teachers to work comfortably, parents to feel great and satisfied that they put their children in Don Bosco School. We need to create a Model School, a community for the education of the young and teachers who are called to be signs of God’s Love. The conviction of God’s Love helps the young people to become upright and honest children, worthy of God and worthy of the nation. We need to create an environment that offers unconditional acceptance to the young. Our schools should be the place where young people are respected no matter what their social backgrounds are – an institution that is fully involved in the lives of the young.

    “It is an educational place that offers a vision of life founded on perennial values. Educate the young people toward solidarity, peace, commitment, stewardship, respect for different cultures and democratic living. We are not the owners of the place but we are the people who can create life giving environment, one of holistic formation for young people with focus,” said Fr.Provincial in his opening address.

    Education is not limited to mere instruction or the acquisition of technical skills. There is a need to cultivate the four pillars of education. Also, there is a need to give faith education in the Indian context.
    1. Learning to know.
    2. Learning to be.
    3. Learning to do.
    4. Learning to live together.

    The identity of a true school can be summed up in the following manner:
    1. A welcome home.
    2. A school that prepares for life.
    3. A place that gives God experience.
    4. A playground for meeting friends and living joyfully.

    The suggestions that emerged at the meeting were:
    1. The best practices that are specific and unique to our schools to be made known within our schools. For eg.: Regular first Friday mass, first Wednesday Confession for the children, etc.
    2. Good animation of the liturgy.
    3. Mentoring the children regularly.
    4. Visiting the 10th, 11th and 12th students by the Headmaster/principal at regular basis.
    5. Welcoming the students at the entrance and meeting the parents as well and having a good rapport with the parents.
    6. Setting up a meaningful Salesian climate.
    7. Animation of the staff members by the Rector every month.
    8. Animating the students will enable them to eradicate their rude behaviours.
    9. Animation given to the parents.
    10. Developing the culture of silence.
    11. Empowering student welfare council.

    Fr. Rajkumar Mervyn SDB, presented a psychological observation at the meeting of the INM principals at The Citadel. He asked the participants: Why today’s young parents are more confident, assertive, entitled – and more miserable than ever before?

    And, Why their children belonging to the ‘me generation’ or the ‘iGen’, though, tolerant, confident, open-minded, and ambitious, but also disengaged, narcissistic, distrustful, and anxious?

    He presented a barrage of statistics in support of this assessment, along with anecdotal testimonials and pop-cultural examples that neatly confirmed the trends he identifies.

    Fr. Rajkumar, acknowledged that the generation has come of age inside an “economic squeeze created by underemployment and rising costs,” but he mostly explains millennial traits in terms of culture and choice.

    “Parents overemphasized self-esteem and happiness, while kids took their cues from an era of diversity initiatives, decentralized authority, online avatars, and reality TV. As a result, millennials and more so, their kids have become irresponsible and fundamentally maladjusted, addicted to screens, contacts and social network but lacking the social skills, and becoming beings of compulsion,” said Fr. Rajkumar.

    He suggested the need for a systematic formation for the parents to empower them to be professional therapists to take care of their young.

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    Dominic Matthews

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