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The first day of the meeting (on Monday 7th ) began with the Holy Eucharist presided over by Rev. Fr. Paul Olphindro Lyngkot SDB, the provincial of Shillong province and concelebrated by all the other priests who have come for the meeting. During the Eucharistic celebration, Fr. Paul prayed for the success of the meeting and spoke about our commitment, love and care towards the young people of the society. Thereafter at 8: 45 am the meeting began with a small introductory function in which Fr. Saji Stephen invoked the blessings of God upon each and every participant and for the smooth conducting of the meeting. The presentation of the previous meeting’s report by Fr. Babu Stephen set the tone for the Annul Prinicipals’ Meet 2022 at Silchar.
Fr. Paul, provincial, took the first session and he spoke at length regarding our commitment and dedication, our success and failures, our responsibility and ability and above all the role of a Salesian Principal. He also highlighted some important points of our Holy Father Pope Francis regarding education and the role of an educator. He concluded his session with a video clip presentation. Immediately after the session we had a solemn welcome ceremony organized by the Bosco Tech Silchar under the leadership of Bro. Regi Cherukunnel SDB, Manager and Bro. Bosco Ekka SDB, assistant manager. All the participants were welcomed with an Adivasi Gamcha each. Vibrant and colourful dances and melodious songs by the students of Bosco Tech made the participants feel good and the ceremony meaningful.
The second session, taken by Fr. James Thyrniang SDB, the economer, was good and very relevant. He, through his power-point presentation, highlighted the importance of documentation, accounting, financial matters and other legalities concerning our education ministry. He clarified many doubts and questions raised by the participants and exhorted everyone to be vigilant and prudent in carrying forward our ministry as educators of the young. He also thanked all the participants for their hard-work and selfless service in the province.
Fr. Saji Stephen SDB, delegate for Education to Faith, took the third session in which he spoke about the need for inculcating value based education and nurturing faith formation in all our schools. He touched upon the idea of having catechism classes for all our catholic students, training of our catholic teachers with regard to faith formation and conducting yearly retreats for both catholic students and teachers. He also exhorted every to appoint a full-fledged catechism teachers in all educational institutions. Many participants shared during the meeting the kind of good practices that they are doing in their respective schools and also the limitations with regard to it. The group also suggested different ways and means how well we can implement this idea in all our educational institutions. The data presentation by Fr. Saji, regarding faith formation, also helped the participants to know where we stand with regard to nurturing faith formation in our all catholic students.
Next session, in the afternoon, was taken by Fr. Anthony Kharkongor SDB, delegate for Youth Ministry and the Principal of St. Anthony’s Higher Secondary School, Shillong. He shared with the participants some ideas regarding the preparations for the centenary celebrations in the province and how to raise funds so as to meet the expenses of it. He spoke also about the need to start a SYM (Salesian Youth Movement) unit in all our schools and parishes. He highlighted some of the activities that are being carried out by the SYM in Meghalaya.
Bro. Regi Cherukunnel SDB, took the evening session in which he spoke about the centralization policy with regard to school uniforms, exercise books, textbooks and so on…He said that it is the need of the hour that bring everything under one umbrella. The province is gearing towards this concept in a big way and BoscoTech Silchar and DBTS Shillong are doing everything to make this a reality in the province. Bro. Regi also highlighted the pros and cons of having this centralized policy being implemented. All the participants also gave their views and ideas regarding this and unanimously agreed upon to implement it from 2023-24 academic session onwards.
The second day (8th March) started with the Eucharistic celebration presided over by Fr. Glorius Syiemlieh SDB, the parish priest of Nongthymmai. The meeting began with a prayer by Fr. Jose Mariadas SDB, principal of Holy Family Hr. Sec. School Khlieriat.
The first session of the day was taken by Fr. Babu Stephen SDB, delegate for Education and Culture, INS. He presented before the participants the new Personnel Policy of the Province for all our schools. He highlighted some of the important points in this policy and pointed out some of the problems we face in our education ministry due to the failure to adhere to such policies of the province. Some doubts and questions regarding this also were clarified during the course of the meeting. He also presented before the participants the Green Alliance Movement and what we intend to do as a province in tune with our Holy Father Pope Francis’ exhortation: “To Care for Our Common Home” and our Rector Major’s clarion call in this regard. Many participants shared their views and good practices that are already being carried out in their respective centres.
The last session of the meeting was the report presentation by each school. Started with schools from Meghalaya, Tripura and concluded with schools from Mizoram. It was very enriching and informative sharing by all the school principals and delegates. The good practices in our schools, the facilities provided, the difficulties and challenges faced by some schools were all the highlights of the report presentation. It was well appreciated by everyone. Then the floor was open for common discussion and deliberations. Many important and relevant points were picked up from the report presentation and discussed at length by everyone and made some important deliberation at the end of the discussion.
The two full days meeting came to end with the concluding message by Fr. Paul summarizing and highlighting the important points discussed during the course of the meeting. He thanked everyone for being part of this meeting and taking part actively in it. He specially thanked Fr. Babu Stephen for his keen interest and for organizing it this Annual Principals’ Meet. Fr. Gabriel Colney SDB proposed the vote thanks in which he thanked everyone for their active participation and collaboration in the meeting. He further thanked everyone for taking all the pain and troubles to travel all way to Silchar from different regions of the province and for all the support extended towards the success of this meeting. He thanked the Community of Don Bosco Silchar for the excellent food and accommodation provided to all the participants and made everyone feel good. He specially thanked Bro. Regi for his expertise in this regard and the care with which he looked after everyone during the course of the meeting. He thanked all the staff of Bosco Tech and other confreres of the community. A special word of thanks expressed for Bro. Albert Longley Dkhar SDB, principal of St. Anthony’s College Shillong and Fr. George Shining SDB, principal in-charge of Byndihati College for being part of this important meeting and guiding us with their valuable suggestions throughout the meeting. The meeting ended with a wholesome and sumptuous dinner hosted by the Silchar Community.