On mission to educate Jammu

Christian missionary schools are playing a great role in spreading education in Jammu.
Their vision is to reach  the unreached for education among the people.  The role being played by these institutions in the City of Temples has been highlighted by  O P Sharma,  who spoke to the Principals        of Alexander Memorial School,       Convent Presentation, Gandhi Nagar; St. Peter, BC road and   Carmel Convent School,          Kunjwani and put searchlight      on their functioning.

It is an interesting to note that Maharaja Partap Singh granted permission to Alexander Memorial Anglo-Vernacular school by granting it a big chunk of land in the heart of the city. It was started by  two Scottish missionaries Dr Youngson and Rev Paterson in 1892.
There were 120 students during 1893 and under the stewardship of Rt Rev Azia William in 1944  it later became a co-education high school. This educational institution has been rendering service for about 123 years now.
Principal, Mrs Esther William, stated that efforts are on to make the school more progressive, cohesive and modern in its outlook. Future plan is to upgrade it into a Plus Two and march forward to unfold the young minds to enable them to open out and blossom fully, to chisel their rough edges, to nurture their physical and mental talent fully.
She claimed that the school has inspired and enlightened students to serve the society regardless of caste, creed, colour and distinction of any kind.
The Presentation Convent School, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu was established in 1954 with mere 60 students. Initially, we educated boys and girls as there were not many institutions to cater to the educational needs of Jammu city. Presently, it is a prestigious school devoted exclusively to female education.
The founder of this school is Venerable Nano Nagle hailing from Ireland also called “Lady of the Lantern” for she dedicated all her life for the education of the poor and needy.
Asked about the vision of the school, the Principal observed “our symbol is the lantern which represents the gift of God within each of us and our aim in education is to help every child to discover that light within and become agents of transformation in the society. We are committed to creating a society of motivated citizens who are literate, skilled, socially awakened and spiritually motivated and fully involved in the building up of a developed and just society and strive towards a life in perfect harmony with nature, making sustainable living a reality for the 21st Century”.
Outlining the brief history of the school, she made mention of some important milestones in its growth over the years. She recalled that Dr. Karan Singh, the then Governor of J&K visited the school in 1962 and on his suggestion, the management applied and was granted a plot by the then Chief Minister, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah for this school.
In 1966 a vernacular school and a boarding were started for the economically and socially challenged girls. Mother Peter was its first Principal who passed away in 1968.
School went on its expansion course to meet growing activities and also swelling number of students. In 1974 the school fared brilliantly in the class X examinations. During 1977, Dr. Karan Singh presided over the annual day function while the school was made proud by the visit of the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.
Mother Teresa visited the school in 1984 and stressed the importance of fostering humanitarian attributes to education. In 1991 Sr. Loyola, who was called the Mother Tresa of Jammu was conferred an award by the then Chief Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah for her meritorious service to the people of Jammu. She was an angel of mercy and compassion.
During 1980-1981 few schools were also opened in different areas near Jammu. This school inculcates in students the values of unity, peace, respect for life. We also take up projects for empowerment of girl child and women.
In 1995, the last batch of boys passed out from the portals of this school and then it was once again reserved for girls only. The boarding for students was closed in 1998 as many schools were opened in and around the city to cater to the educational needs of children.
In the year 2000 a milestone of paramount importance was achieved when the school was granted CBSE affiliation and up-gradation to class XII. The credit of this goes to the then Principal Sr. Roselima. The first batch of class X CBSE passed out in 2001 with commendable results.
The school celebrated its golden jubilee in the year 2004. Our school stands out for its values of respect for one another, development of a growing consciousness of the dignity and right of every person which enables the person to live in fellowship and mutual helpfulness. Our school strives to involve the entire school community in taking active responsibility in conducting and supporting outreach programs.
Proudly our Alumni have adopted “Choti Teresa” a home for the destitute and its members continue to visit and support the inmates to live a comparatively clean and healthy life.
This year is the Diamond Jubilee of the school and we are proud of our past achievements and look to future with hope and confidence. We fondly remember our foundress Nano Nagle for starting this temple of knowledge.
St. Peter’s School, B.C. Road has been imparting quality education to the girls and boys. Msgr. George Shanks visited Jammu in 1952. And later, Father Boerkamp began schooling facilities from a small rented house in Prem Nagar with only 50 odd students and then in 1954 a bungalow was acquired for this school premises.
Fr    Stalin, Principal of this institution, in an interview told me that the present student strength is nearly 1500. He claimed that this institution has significant role and contribution in spreading education along with a proud record of academic achievements through dedication and hard work by the faculty. The students, he said, come from all sections of society irrespective of caste, faith or status. He was proud about the recent results and performance of the students and assured of constant and committed service in future as well.
In reply to a question, Fr Stalin said “our school has been awarded as one of the Top Schools of J&K State and India by the Digital Learning World adding that Extra Marks (Smart Class) were installed in classes which were liked by the students and have increased the interest for learning more.
Carmel Convent School, Kunjwani, run by the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel, was started at Jammu in April, 1995 at the invitation of Bishop Hippolytus Kunnunkal Ofm. Cap, Bishop of Jammu – Srinagar Diocese. Carmel Convent School.
The Principal, —— stated that the vision of the school is to ensure all round education of girls to fulfill a noble role in life. Due attention is paid to the spiritual, moral, intellectual, social and physical aspects of education, he stressed. Though primarily established for Catholics, admission to the school is open to all, irrespective of caste, creed and status.
This institution has set up a school council to put into practice the aims and objectives of the house system. It is made up of the Head Girl, House Captains and others to enforce discipline and decorum before school starts and during the recess, receiving guests and maintaining order at school functions. A  Redressal Cell is also operational in the school for the benefit of the parents and students for discussion of problems and sorting out solutions.
This school lays emphasis on self-transformation through daily prayers in one’s religion for peace, solidarity with the weak, doing a    good deed a day without a selfish motive for the nation and also honour parents, teachers and all human beings, respect Mother Earth and save its resources.
(Starline Syndicate Service)