Integral education at Don Bosco High School
Maria Fernandes|NT Kuriocity
Of the 35-odd high schools in the Tiswadi taluka today, only a handful can be considered ‘good schools’. Good schools can be defined as those that impart education of excellent quality, have the right infrastructure, churn out leaders and hence are worth joining. It is difficult for parents to make the right decision regarding the selection of a school when the choice is large. To help parents learn more about the different schools in the state, evaluate and differentiate between them so that they can arrive at a decision, NT Kuriocity visited Don Bosco High School, Panaji.
Established in June 1947 by the Don Bosco Salesian society, the boys’ school follows the SSC syllabus of the Goa Board and is recognised by the Directorate of Education, Government of Goa. Here the style of education involves students, their parents or guardians and educators in a family atmosphere. “The method we adopt is one that was lived and handed down by Don Bosco himself –‘The Preventive System’ based on reason, faith in God and loving kindness,” says principal, Fr Avin Carvalho. The school’s goal is integral education and it embraces developing physical and aesthetic talents, training in occupational skills, fostering intellectual skills and competence, furthering cultural development and integration with others, including moral uprightness.
During the last seventy years, thousands of students have passed through this school. The list of alumni includes distinguished personalities like proprietor of EDCON Real Estate Developers, Cedric Vaz; proprietor of hotel Arcadia, Cedric Carvalho; social activist and physician, Oscar Rebello, general surgeon, Bossuet Alfonso; cardiologist, Rufino Monteiro; entrepreneur and proprietor of Models Group, Peter Vaz, and many more.
The quality of education in any educational institute depends entirely on the quality of faculty. Highly qualified staff is the strength of this institution. A healthy mix of young and experienced teachers ensures an active and lively academic culture in the institution. In-house seminars, training sessions and government sponsored training programmes are frequently on the cards for all teachers.
One of the important things required for an institute to function satisfactorily is the availability of necessary infrastructure in terms of state-of-the-art laboratories, high-speed internet connectivity, well-stocked library, playground, conference hall and classrooms that are spacious and are furnished with audio-visual aids to name a few.
Don Bosco’s comprises of a single building and has laboratories for the science departments as well as the department of information technology. The laboratories are supplied with all instrumentation and equipment required to give students exposure and hands-on experience.
The library plays a very vital role as it develops the habit of reading. Books from the library are utilised to narrate stories to students of lower classes. The boys are also encouraged by the librarian to read simple books. Older students are given interesting books to read under the librarian’s guidance. “Our school has a well-equipped laboratory and library and since I am not very inclined to sports, I find these very important. Also our teachers are very caring and look after us very well. When we have competitions to participate in, they even stay back after school and train us,” says student of standard IX, Aaron D’Souza.
Classrooms are airy, spacious and equipped with audio-visual facilities. Besides these there are multipurpose halls, recreation room, first aid room and counselling room with qualified counsellors. The school also employs special educators for children who find it difficult to cope with their academic performance.
Don Bosco’s is well known for its dominance on the football field besides other sports and its extensive and well maintained playgrounds and parks are the talk of the town. The school also has an exclusive tie-up with Sporting Club de Goa.
Security is top priority and the school campus and the corridors of the primary building are under video surveillance. “In keeping with the ‘Salesian Presence’ the teachers (on rotation) take turns to do recess duty. This enhances not only the safety of our students but also helps build a healthy teacher-student relationship. Teachers and support staff are not only in the building but also on the playground when the break is on,” says school counsellor, Krystal Cardozo.
It is not just books for students of Don Bosco’s as they are encouraged to participate in a variety of extra and co-curricular activities. Annual Day, Sports Day, Story-telling competition, Skit competition, Faith and Value education day are some of the annual events organised at the school. In terms of publications, ‘Rhapsody’, the school bulletin allows students to contribute their stories, jokes and creative writing while keeping parents and guardians informed about the happenings in the school.
“It is the best school in the world! I can’t think of any other place that I could have spent those twelve years; they were the happiest days of my life. If I am what I am today, it is greatly due to my time at Don Bosco’s. We were taught values that are very deep-rooted. Our teachers were not just teachers but mentors who prepared us not only for class but for life itself,” says Ajoy Estibeiro, ex-student and psychiatrist. Eddy Noronha, another past pupil says: “Since I lived opposite the school, Don Bosco’s was my second home and still is. What I have received as a student of Bosco’s, I try my best to give back to the best of my ability.”
“All that we do revolves around nurturing the all-round development of our students, so they can grow up to be honest citizens and god-fearing men,” says Fr Avin as he signs off.