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Towards Schools Excellence: Don Bosco School Principals Meet

By Fr. Bivan Mukhim
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Guwahati, Oct. 3. Twentynine principals of Don Bosco Schools, Guwahati Province gathered on the 1st and 2nd October 2014 in Don Bosco Institute (DBI), Kharguli to deliberate upon the guidance to be given to all the Don Bosco Schools spread across the province.
The principals came together under the banner of Don Bosco School Excellence Mission (DB SEM). The agenda and discussion during the two days meeting was to evaluate the performance of all the schools and to help to achieve excellence and offer quality education at affordable cost.

The meeting was inaugurated by Fr. VM Thomas, the provincial of the Salesian Province of Guwahati. The provincial asked the principals to ''make the school a home and a place of learning for the students and not a place where they feel suffocated and frightened,'' he said. He also asked the principals to give the best in moulding the lives of the students in the school. The principals also discussed ways to improve DB SEM and to propose plans for the coming four years.

Fr. Johnson Parackal, the Director of DB SEM and the Executive Director of DBI shared his vision about DB SEM and its mission. Fr Joseph Thelekkatt animated the discussion with lively video presentation and statistical presentations to stress on the importance of improving the schools in the province of Guwahati.

One of the important agendas of the discussion is the implementation of 21st Century skill in the classroom. ''Classroom skilling today includes problem solving, group discussion, projects, cooperative learning, net-working, application etc. These should be incorporated into all the classrooms of the Don Bosco Schools of Guwahati province by 2016,'' Fr. Thelekkatt, the programme co-ordinator said.

The vision of DB SEM is to improve the education level of all the children entrusted to the care of the Don Bosco fathers regardless of their socio-economic status and geo-political location. Its mission is to assist in strengthening comprehensively the educative community of all the schools in the province of Guwahati by ensuring quality teaching and learning environment, nurturing talent and providing integral formation of the young. The two days discussion was headed by Fr. Johnson Parackal, the Director of DB SEM and co-ordinated by eminent educationist Fr. Joseph Thelekkatt.

From its initial start in 2012 several meetings, plans and programmes and modalities were discussed and accepted. In the course of discussions and deliberations the scope and terms of reference was enlarged to include all the schools both rural and urban. It was further felt that the improvement is an incremental concept and not comprehensive enough to include excellence which should actually be the goal of change and transformation. Various programmes like the Training of Trainers (TOT) were organised in close collaborations with the teacher trainees and eminent teachers from Don Bosco College of Teacher Education, Tura and Don Bosco School, Panbazar.
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