12/19/2015, 00.00
BANGLADESH
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Thousands meet for the 75th anniversary of St Joseph Catholic High School

by Sumon Corraya
​Founded by Salesian missionaries in 1940, run by Xaverian Fathers until 1974, the school is currently administered by the Diocese of Khulna. About 95 per cent of its students have been Hindu and Muslim. The school has also educated priests, doctors, scientists, writers, and journalists.

Khulna (AsiaNews) – A few thousand people marked the 75th anniversary of the founding of St Joseph Catholic High School in Khulna, in southern Bangladesh.

Established in 1940 by a Salesian missionary, Father Bianchi, St Joseph High is the oldest school in the diocese. Over the years, several generations of students, 95 per cent Hindu and Muslim, were educated at the school.

More than 2,500 former and current students took part in this year’s celebrations held yesterday and the day before (17-18 December). For old classmates and teachers, this was a chance to meet again.

Founded by the Salesians, the high school was placed under Xaverian missionaries until 1974, when the local Church took over its administration.

At present, the school employs 40 teachers and is considered one of the best educational facilities in the diocese.

"Twenty-six diocesan priests trained in this school,” Fr former student Joseph Noren Baidya told AsiaNews. Now “They are contributing a lot to the growth of the Church and the nation. Even many doctors, singers, scientists, humanists, writers and journalists were educated here."

"Here I not only received my education, but I also formed my character,” said Md Junaid Islam, a Muslim former student who is a successful entrepreneur. “What I learnt at St Joseph High School helped me in my entire life, as well as in developing my business."

"The purpose of education is to train and develop the heart,” said Mgr Theotonius Gomes, auxiliary bishop of Dhaka, who was present at the event.

“Teachers are like a book,” he said. “Students can read them and learn from their life.” Thus, “through the education they receive from the school and teachers, they can become self-reliant. And for this, we are grateful to the missionaries who founded this school."

For the current dean, A G Mollik, "This school has had a significant role in the development of quality education and the spread of Christian values”.

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