Address by Governor at the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of Campion School in Mumbai
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the Inauguration of the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of Campion School at Tata Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point, Mumbai at 6.00 PM on Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Shri Ajoy Mehta, Municipal Commissioner of Greater Mumbai, Shri Harish Chand Agrawal, Chief Post Master General, Shri Niranjan Hiranandani, CMD, Hiranandani Group, Shri Pramit Jhaveri, CEO, Citi India, Father Frazer Mascarenhas, Provincial Representative, Dr Eric Borjes, Chairperson, Management Council of Campion School, Shri Paul Machado, Principal Campion School, Shri Hemant Meka Rao, Members of the Management Council, Members of the General Body, alumni of the School, teachers, past teachers, parents, staff, students and ladies and gentlemen…
Good evening and greetings to you.
I am indeed delighted to associate myself with this memorable occasion of launch of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the Campion School. It has been a spectacular journey for Campion and I am glad that I got an opportunity to express the collective appreciation of society and the city of Mumbai for this great institution.
At the outset I extend my warm felicitations to each one of you, those on the dais and among the audience, who have been part of the journey of the Campion School.
I salute the Founding Fathers of the School, the Jesuits and all those who nurtured it and gave it a culture of excellence. Campion has consistently remained among most sought-after institutions, the credit for which goes to the Management, teachers, alumni, staff and of course the students themselves.
I convey my warm felicitations to the Management, Principal, teachers, alumni, staff and students of the School as it embarks on its 75th anniversary celebrations.
Campion School has been an integral part of the socio-economic life of the city of Mumbai. The School always championed and upheld the ideals of freedom, democracy, liberalism and free expression.
During the last 75 years, Campion has rendered invaluable service to society by providing value-based education to several generations of students. These students came from every social class, community and linguistic group. The School has thus played an exceptional role in the process of nation building by producing best minds and souls.
The list of alumni of this institution is truly enviable. I was impressed to know that former Union Ministers Jyotariditya Scindia, Shashi Tharoor and Praful Patel, industry leader Kumar Mangalam Birla and many others are alumni of the School. I do hope that the School will continue its tradition of producing men of character, values and compassion who will provide leadership to society in all areas of human endeavour.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As I stand before you, my mind is crowded with memories of the best years I spent in my school. School days are the most memorable days in one’s life.
The students of Campion are fortunate to have the best equipped Schools with an outstanding teachers to teach.
Teachers have the biggest influence on the minds of children. Along with parents, it is teachers who develop character, instill ambition and values, and build confidence among students. In short, teachers transform the lives of students and we should be very proud of our teachers.
Education is not a process to prepare students for the next class; it is a process to prepare them for life.
A student is simultaneously a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister and a grandson or a granddaughter, and so on. At the same time, he or she is a also a member of society, the city, the State, the nation and finally the universe.
The School is where we have to remind the student of his or her obligation to society, his responsibility as a citizen of the country and finally his obligation to the world as its unique member. This is particularly necessary as children of the present time are global citizens.
Speaking of education, 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)
I will urge teachers and parents to lay utmost emphasis on character formation of the students. We have to create in our students’ pride of our own cultural heritage and civilization.
I will particularly urge parents and teachers to communicate with children, understand them and address their concerns.
At the very foundation of the entire process of learning is our 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 urge to know, alive and burning among the students.
In India, we did have this vibrant spirit of enquiry since time immemorial. It prompted and led to innovation and research in as diverse areas as Mathematics, Astrophysics, Medicine, Fine Art and in many other areas. Europe was nowhere near us in intellectual pursuits.
Contemplating on the stars sitting in the Sahyadri hills of Maharashtra, somewhere near Jalgaon in Maharashtra way back in the 12th Century, great astronomer and mathematician Bhaskaracharya had accurately calculated the time taken for the Earth to orbit the Sun, as 365.2588 days.
It was again Indians gave the world the concept of zero. I can go on giving many examples.
We need to seriously introspect whether are we killing this curiosity among students. There may be honorable exceptions. But, on the whole, it seems we are dictating to students what to learn. We are not enabling them how to learn. An urgent course correction is needed in this regard.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Our schools are passing through a great transition. School managements are concerned about maintaining high standards in the face of upheavals on many fronts. Apart from financial constraints, schools are facing the problems of recruiting good teachers.
Parents and students are seeking international learning experience from schools. Schools will have to constantly innovate and understand what students want to learn. The days of uni-dimensional learning are over. Teachers will have to become facilitators in the process of learning. They will have to become techno-savvy to gel with students.
Schools will have to empower teachers and develop their capacities by providing them professional development support. Schools will also have to design curriculum with a global focus that will prepare the children for a world in which global employability and citizenship are seen as essential.
In the recent past, we have witnessed disruptive changes in the field of communication and technology. Likewise, the field of education may also witness disruptive changes in the near future. Schools paying scant attention to quality and proving short on the aspirations of students will close down.
One of the biggest strengths of India is its youthful population. With a population of 1.25 billion people, India has emerged as the youngest nation in the world. By 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, which is 8 years younger than the average age of a Chinese or an American. These young men and women, full of bright and brilliant ideas hold immense potential to change the destiny of the world and improve the quality of life of our people. The world is looking up to India to meet its demand for skilled manpower.
Many countries of the world are facing acute shortage of good teachers. Schools in the developed countries are finding it difficult to recruit and retain qualified teachers. I think, India with its large pool of educated people must step in and provide teachers to the whole world. Our universities and schools must accept this challenge and meet the world’s requirement of good teachers.
An American journalist Sydney J Harris once wrote and I quote, “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” (unquote)
We want a generation of students who are willing to look out of the window, who are ready to serve society and play their part in addressing some of the persistent problems of our nation like poverty, illiteracy, deprivation and ignorance. I have great expectations from the Campion School and from its brilliant students.
Alumni are the biggest strength of this School. I want the alumni to extend all possible support to the School to make it a world class school, one which will attract students from across the world.
Once again I congratulate the Campion School as it begins its 75th anniversary celebrations and I extend my warm felicitations to all of you.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!