“Facing Today’s Challenges in Schools” An Annual School Principals Meet 2024

Shillong 7th February: A three day annual school principal's meet of Shillong Province was held from 5-7 February 2024 at Don Bosco School Agartala. 40 participants from all the Don Bosco schools of Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Silchar took part in it. The first day of the meeting began with an inaugural ceremony at 6:30 pm in the school auditorium. A reading from the Holy Bible by Father Dominic Ralte, a meaningful prayer led by Father Suman Kumar Kiro, a hymn to the Holy Spirit and the lighting of the lamp set the tone for the inaugural ceremony. Father Babu Stephen, delegate for Education and Culture, welcomed all the participants and thanked them all for being present for the meeting. He also presented the report of the previous meeting held from 15-17 June 2023 at Siloam. The presence of Father Provincial, Father Vice-provincial, Father Economer, the council members, Father Michael Makri, Mr. Jacob Shylla and two VSDB sisters from Bishramganj added beauty and gaiety to the whole meeting. Frather John Zosiama, the Vice-provincial, animated the first session on school ministry and its impact in our province which was followed by evening prayer led by Father Babu and good night talk by Father John Zosiama. The second day's programme began with the Holy Eucharist presided over by Father John Zosiama in the Parish Church which was followed by breakfast. At 8:00 am we all gathered in the amphi theatre of the school and the school organised a short and sweet welcome and felicitation programme for all participants. On behalf of all the participants Father Babu addressed the school assembly and thanked the school for its warm welcome to all the principals. Father Provincial took the morning session at 9:00 on the various problems and struggles of the youth of today which was followed by another session by Mr. Jacob L. Shylla from St. Anthony's College Shillong on CUET. It was a well prepared session on CUET and how to prepare our school students to appear for this test. His session on CUET opened up our minds to the different challenges faced by our students and school management. After a short break, Father James Thyrniang took the session on accounting, documentation, Health Insurance and province annual contribution. He highlighted the importance of proper documentation in all our settings. After lunch at 2:30 pm, Father Michael Makri from Don Bosco Media Network Shillong took a beautiful session on Social Media in which he mainly dealt with AI tools and the usefulness of Chatgpt in our day to day school activities. It was an informative and educative session by Father Makri. All the participants enjoyed learning about new technologies that could make the learning and teaching process very easy for students and teachers. A session by Father Saji Stephen on Education to Faith, catechism classes and training for teachers also made the session very meaningful and noteworthy. He stressed upon the need for having qualified and trained teachers to catechism in our schools. In the evening we had two more sessions one by Bro. Regy on Bosco Olympics and its expenses and income and the need to have a common uniform for all our schools in the province. Many inputs and ideas were shared by Bro Regy regarding school uniform orders placed by various schools and exhorted every school principals to adhere to the norms and policies set by the province especially in running our schools according to the mind of the province. The second session, in the evening, was taken by Father Sunny on Salesian missionary animation. He highlighted the need to celebrate the Salesian missionary day in all our schools, parishes and hostels on every 11th of the month. He also asked everyone to read the Caligero news letter on Salesian Missionary animation. He called upon every school to make use of their school noticeboards to publish news and photos concerning the Salesian Mission. First Friday Mass in our schools for catholic students and teachers could be celebrated so as to nurture and to strengthen their faith formation. The third day's programme began with the Holy Eucharist presided over by Father Provincial in the Parish Church, Agartala. At 8:00 am we began the session with prayer and bible reading which was followed by a thanks giving hymn played on the screen. Thereafter Father Babu Stephen took the session on the forthcoming major events in the province. We started our discussion on NECDBS 2025, Mini Boscoree 2024 in our Province, School disciplines, school activities, common policies and programmes, teachers and student leaders training programme, scout masters and guide captains training session, contribution for DB Tech India and so on... After a short break we began our session on School ERP by Mr. Kiran Kumar from Hembro Infotech and Extra Fullmarks on new technology and infrastructures available for making the school education more relevant and up to date. Towards the end of the session, Fr. Provincial gave his concluding message appreciating all the principals for their hard work and dedication. He once again stressed the importance of accompanying the young in all our schools. He also thanked Father Babu for coordinating this meeting. The three day annual principal's meet came to an end at 1:00 pm with the vote of thanks by Father Surjit Tigga. A special word of thanks to the community of Don Bosco Agartala for hosting this event and providing us with everything needed for the success of this three day Annual School Principal's Meet. Love live Don Bosco.

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