Address by Governor at the Inauguration of the Centenary Celebrations of the St Joseph’s High School, Wadala, Mumbai
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the Inauguration of the Centenary Celebrations of the St Joseph’s High School, Wadala, Mumbai at 1030 hrs on Tuesday 5 July 2016
Father Godfrey D’Souza, Provincial of the Salesians of Mumbai, Father Godfrey D’Sa, Manager and Principal of St Joseph’s High School, Smt Sangita Bhattacharya, Headmistress of St Joseph’s High School, Church leaders, parents, alumni, invitees, staff, students, ladies and gentlemen,
I am indeed delighted to associate myself with this memorable occasion of inauguration of the Centenary Year celebrations of St Joseph’s School. I have come here to share your joy on this day. I have especially come here to tell you that we are proud of the School and proud of all of you.
During the last ten decades, the St Joseph’s School has rendered invaluable service to society by providing value-based and modern education to several generations of students, including those coming from financially weaker sections of society.
Like every Don Bosco institution, the Joseph’s High School carries a stamp of excellence. I was pleased to note that the institution has consistently maintained high standards in the field of education, sports and culture.
I salute the Founding Fathers of the School, the Church leaders, the teachers and staff and all those who carried forward the mantle of providing education to children for all these years.
I congratulate the School and convey my warm felicitations to the Management, Principal, teachers, alumni, staff, parents and students as the School embarks on its 100th anniversary.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Education is not a process to prepare students only for the next class; it is a process to prepare them for life. It is a system in which we introduce to the children their rights as individuals and their duty towards society, State and the Nation.
Swami Vivekananda had said, and I quote: “We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own feet.” (unquote)
Teachers play a very important role in shaping children and forming their character. Their importance has been recognized since very early times and in all civilizations.
Emphasizing the critical role of teachers, Marcus Cicero, a Roman Philosopher had said, “What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man, who instructs the rising generation.”
Today, our youth need much guidance, both from teachers and parents. This is because there is a huge volume of information available to the children in books, television and over the internet. Teachers must keep themselves abreast with the latest knowledge tools, so that they can guide their students to look at useful and meaningful information sources.
In this connection, I am really pleased to note that the St Joseph’s School is incorporating a number of innovative methods in teaching and learning to make the school the best in Mumbai and the State at large.
India has truly arrived on the global stage. India is no longer looked up as a developing country. It is seen as a developed country. Our students are therefore going to be citizens of a developed country, and that carries a great responsibility of its own.
The biggest strength of India today is its youthful population. It is estimated that by 2021, the proportion of working age population in India will be 64 percent. It will make us as the largest supplier of workforce in the world in another decade.
It is imperative that we equip our students and youth with the best of education and, when they grow up, with employable skills. But we must also instill in the children the spirit of adventure, enterprise and innovation. Most importantly, we must imbibe in them universal values as global citizens.
Every child is born with a natural urge ‘to know’. It is this urge to know the why, how and when about natural events taking place around us that has contributed to the evolution of man from the primitive period to the modern times. As teachers and as parents, we have to keep this flame of curiosity and the natural urge to know alive and burning among the students.
Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya is considered as the greatest mathematician of medieval India. He was born in the 12th century in modern day’s Karnataka State and lived in the Sahyadri region in the present day Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. It was he who first accurately calculated the time taken for the Earth to orbit the Sun, as 365.2588 days. Again, Indians gave the world the concept of zero. At one point of time we were leaders in many spheres of life.
No wonder, Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists of all time, philosopher and mathematician said, “We owe a lot to Indians who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made”.
India’s children and youths are inheritors of this great legacy of thought. Such innovations and discoveries are possible when we enable children to think; when encourage children to question and when we welcome curiosity. We need to seriously introspect whether are we allowing children to be curious in today’s education system?
I quite feel that we have tied down our students with lots of studies, examinations, tests, private coaching, project work and such other activities. This leaves little time for them to think, understand and analyze concepts. This leaves little time for them to play. Children are busy playing games on their mobile phones.
A course-correction is needed urgently if we wish to produce leaders, thinkers, scholars and innovators from this great land once again.
I do feel that we must accord high priority to sports in schools and colleges. I will appeal to St. Joseph’s School to identify and groom students who are good in sports, for State and national level games.
Only yesterday, I released the UNICEF’s Report on the State of World’s Children in Raj Bhavan. Let me tell you. Not all children are lucky to be receiving the best of education from the best of Schools like St. Joseph’s School.
Children from rural areas, those from the Scheduled Caste, Tribals, Nomadic Tribes and other backward communities have to face numerous challenges to get educated. We have to create a more enabling atmosphere for all children to educate and come up in life. I do feel that the Schools such as St Joseph, must organise visits of students to schools in rural areas and invite students from Rural Areas and Tribal Ashram Shalas to your schools. Such interaction among students will prove to be mutually beneficial.
With these words, I congratulate the St. Joseph’s School on the happy occasion of the launch of its Centenary Celebrations and wish the School Godspeed in its future endeavours. May God bless you all.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!