BOSCO INFORMATION SERVICE # 3547
By: Bernard Fernandes
MATUNGA-MUMBAI, JUNE 28, 2013: The first meeting of the Principals for the new scholastic year on June 27, 2013 at Provincial House, Matunga, witnessed a full attendance of the heads of the educational institutes schools and Junior colleges of the Mumbai Province. Twenty Principals along with the Vice-Provincial, Fr. Ajoy Fernandes concelebrated at the Eucharist presided by the Provincial, Fr. Michael Fernandes, thus setting in motion the events of the day. The Provincial thanked the Principals for their work and sacrifice, and later, reflecting on the gospel passage, urged the assembly to translate God's will into action.
Once in the AV room for the remainder of the day's session, Fr. Crispino D'Souza, the newly appointed coordinator of the schools' commission in the Mumbai Province outlined the program for the day. Fr. Lorenzo D'Souza, while welcoming the Principals and the newly appointed coordinator, thanked the outgoing head of the Schools' Commission, Fr. Boniface D'Souza, as also the non-playing Principal, Fr. Provincial.
In his speech, Fr. Michael Fernandes, congratulated the Principals for the excellent results at the SSC and HSC Board examinations, commended the efficiency of the ex-coordinator, Fr. Boniface D'Souza, and thanked Fr. Crispino D'Souza for accepting the responsibility to lead the Education Commission and Board. Fr. Michael capped his speech with the list of achievements by the Education Commission and the Principals over the last few years – DB Way, adoption of neighbourhood municipal schools, e-learning, RTE, mental health, Greenline, lay Principals, networking of schools in Mumbai, Behaviour and Discipline Policies, Qualitative Assessment ….
In an absorbing session that followed, the two resource persons from the Adhyayan Quality Education Services team, Ms. Meera Gautam and Ms. Amisha Modi, conducted an interactive session "Understanding my school's diversity better". Taking a cue from the NCF (National Curriculum Framework) 2005, the two speakers initiated the thought process to help use the diversity in our schools as a resource to improve learning outcomes.
Up next was the presentation of the Adhyayan Quality Standard (AQS) assessment of the schools by Ms. Amisha Modi, and Fr. Crispino D'Souza. Introducing the AQS as an education movement by educators with educators for educators, Amisha outlined its design that benchmarks one's performance against a quality standard. Fr. Crispino explained the process to arrive at AQS, and how this was to be implemented in the Salesian schools of the Mumbai Province.
After the lunch break, the Principals shared the best practices in their respective schools related to new beginnings in co-ed schools, Junior and Senior Colleges, neighbourhood school adoption, and the SETS (Special Education Teacher Support) program for children with special needs. The other points on the agenda covered Rights Based Education, Themes for AIPM (All India Principals Meet) 2014, Training Program for New Principals and Gro-Mo Scout Camp in the Province in preparation for Boscoree.
At the end of a profitable session, we head for the year's campaign with a swagger and verve – suggestive of the Don Bosco spirit and a relentless passion for excellence!