07/11/2018, 17.41
INDIA
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Odisha: St Mary School's new 'smart’ classes will nurture the skills of 3,000 children

The Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar led the inauguration of the new facility, which is run by the Servants of Mary. The school “must also be like a loving mother who gives life to future philosophers, scientists, illustrious thinkers”. Competitions, trips and extra-curricular activities will stimulate the pupils to challenge themselves in every situation.

Cuttack-Bhubaneswar (AsiaNews) – Mgr John Barwa, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, in the Indian state of Odisha (ex Orissa), inaugurated the new St Mary's School on Jaipur Road.

The facility, which has been rebuilt and can now accommodate up to 3,000 students, will offer pupils a curriculum that will stimulate and develop their creativity. Going beyond subjects like history and geography, it will provide them with the opportunity of going beyond the school walls.

"We want to create 'smart' classes in rural villages in India, combining traditional subjects with different ones, such as modern technology, dance and sport,” said Fr Tapan Baliarsingh, the archbishop's secretary, speaking to AsiaNews.

"We don’t want the children to acquire only bookish knowledge, but we want them to undergo a holistic transformation. We want to prevent them from developing an inferiority complex; instead, we want them grow up in a way they have never experienced."

The inauguration ceremony was held last Saturday in the presence of at least 500 people, including teachers, pupils and Church leaders.

Mgr Barwa spoke to those present about the role of school in society, which "must be a place of light, freedom and learning. It must also be like a loving mother who gives life to future philosophers, scientists, illustrious thinkers and important statesmen for our India and for the whole world."

Founded in 1976, the institute is run by the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary. Currently, some 1,430 students are enrolled.

The archbishop thanked the principal, Sr M Rosely, and the other teachers for the work they have done over the years. He then urged the teaching staff to meet the new challenges posed by society to the educational system.

For this reason, the prelate emphasised the importance of applying the archdiocese’s new guidelines for Catholic schools.

Titled "Academic Excellence and Integrity", the plan is to "boost educational skills and stimulate the pupils’ personal and social sense of responsibility."

​​The archdiocese wants to "create excellent students in all fields, not just in education,” Fr Baliarsingh said. “Competitions and outdoor activities can contribute to this."

Stimulating children in several ways "can make them understand that every situation contributes to the foundations of their future, whether they become the scientists, doctors, astronomers, engineers or politicians of tomorrow."

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