by Joyce D'Mello Fernandes
NAVI MUMBAI, JULY 31, 2017: Salesian institutions world-over have always stressed on the importance of Don Bosco's Preventive System of Education, which is essentially education based on three pillars, namely reason, religion and loving-kindness. Teachers from Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul, attended a seminar – animated by Father Cletus D'Souza – to better understand the unique education system ideated by Saint Don Bosco on July 29.
The day in the AV hall, began with a prayer song, followed by a brief welcome and introduction by the Principal, Father Donald Fernandes. Father D'Souza first made the participants open the school handbook and identify as many words as possible that could be classified as 'Bosco vocabulary'.
The gathering then discussed the words, after which the words were displayed on board. Father D'Souza then explained that the word 'educator' means to 'bring out' and hence it is the role of every educator to bring out the best in every child. He added that in order to do this, the educator must have a healthy spiritual quotient. This could be achieved by following the 'three moment capsule', which essentially means a minute to 'thank God', another minute to say 'sorry' and the third minute to 'ask.
Father D'Souza then discussed the subject matter of education, which is the 'child'. The next session was on the three pillars of Salesian education, namely reason, religion and loving kindness. He illustrated how the repressive system of education of the past was a far-cry from the Preventive System. The Preventive System, as the name suggests, requires the educator to 'accompany' the child physically, which will eventually lead to spiritual accompaniment.
Finally, the expressive system of education was explained wherein all educators must begin from wherever the students are, from what they love. Father D'Souza stressed that Don Bosco said, 'Love what the youth love…. Empathy rather than sympathy is the call of the hour.
Father D'Souza further stressed on the importance of using encouragement as an essential tool every day. His anecdotes laced with humour kept everyone glued to their seats and their minds wanting more.
"It was really enlightening and has helped me upgrade as a teacher. I have realised that as a teacher our motive should be to help students grow as good human beings. The heart of education is education of the heart, by the heart and from the heart," Clyde Fernando, the activity teacher, said.