-Fr. Savio Silveira sdb
We, the 142 delegates of the Third National Educational Conference of Don Bosco Schools (NECDBS) India 2014—organised by the All India Don Bosco Educational Society (AIDBES) in collaboration with the Salesian Province of Mumbai and Adhyayan—met from 06 to 09 November 2014, at Don Bosco, Matunga, Mumbai.
In this Bicentenary Year of the Birth of Don Bosco, we recommit ourselves to the four objectives of the Preventive System—the integral development of the young, the discovery of their life project, a commitment to transforming the world, and helping the young to understand God’s plan for their lives—as we journey with and for the young, especially the poor and the marginalised.
We express our gratitude to the Salesian pioneers in India and the other great Salesian educators who have handed down to us Don Bosco’s educational system and spirituality.
We wish to carry forward this legacy we have received by “Leading Don Bosco Schools in the Twenty-First Century,” and so we reflected on:
Quality Education, which calls for inspirational leaders, motivated educators and involved students who work within a dynamic learning ecosystem to help all stakeholders develop holistically to become active and productive citizens in the local, national and global contexts;
Preparing Salesians to Lead Schools by instituting systems and processes, which form school leaders who share the larger Salesian vision, build and lead motivated teams, plan carefully and execute with finesse, are innovative, creative and move beyond comfort zones, relate respectfully and professionally, and are role models to their staff and students;
Leadership for Teaching-Learning and the Curriculum, which facilitates the training of creative and motivated educators who cater to different learning-styles of individual students to foster their critical thinking and holistic development, and help them develop values and life skills;
School Leadership, where the principal is a person of integrity, has a vision for the institute, communicates clearly, recognises and appreciates those who deserve it, corrects gently, supports and encourages, listens and is open to feedback, works at changing mind-sets, promotes collective responsibility, and is thus a leader—not just a manager—through skills, attitude and style of functioning;
Self-Review and Validation against a Standard, which presupposes honest self-learning for self-enhancement, trains all stakeholders to engage in an evidence-based and comprehensive evaluation against a globally-accepted benchmark, and aims at ensuring the accountability of all stakeholders in providing quality education;
Community and Partnerships, which enable formation of citizen leaders who make an impact through children-for-children, children-for-society and children-for-the-world ventures, and who apply classroom learning to transform situations and issues in the local and global communities.
And so, challenged by our reflection on this theme, as a national network of Don Bosco Schools, we resolve:
- - to prepare Salesians to lead our schools effectively;
- - to enhance the quality of education by networking among our schools through exchange programs for staff and students—first at the regional levels and then at the national level;
- - to create a pool of Salesian assessors, and train them to assess Salesian schools;
- - to conduct, within a stipulated period, a self-review and validation of our schools against a globally-accepted benchmark;
- - to share our Salesian educational heritage with others, and thereby influence the national educational environment and policies.
As passionate Salesian Educators, inspired by Don Bosco and emboldened by the ideals of this Conference, we pledge to lead our schools to become happy, engaging and life-affirming institutions that impact the educational landscape of our country.
Mumbai, 09 November 2014.