SACHI NAIK | NT KURIOCITY
It can come as a ‘surprise’, when you unexpectedly receive a call telling you that you’ve received an award. This is precisely what happened to the Margao-based Loyola High School which won a national-level ‘White Swan Award’ hosted by AsiaOne Magazine as being the ‘Most Influential Brand’ in the education category in India.
Principal of Loyola High School, Margao, Fr Peter Rodrigues talking about the schools achievements that could have put them on the list for the awards says: “Students of Loyola High School do well after their schooling too. They shine and can face challenges in their lives. Most of them study further and work on a good post in different streams. That is what the magazine might have researched, giving us the tag of ‘Influential’ school.”
Keeping it true to the mission and vision of the school, Loyola high School has been a shining example of all-round development of the students. It does not look at the academics but also prepares the children to face any challenges they come across in their lives. “We give much significance to inculcate certain values in a child right from the beginning. We prepare them so that they can confidently stand by themselves in future. That is the reason our students do so well even after their schooling is done,” says Fr Peter. He adds that the students of Loyola High School are easily recognized once they get admissions in higher secondary schools and colleges. “We see and groom the leadership qualities in them. They excel at what they do because they are confident and it is true that they succeed over the time,” says Fr Peter.
Highlighting the role of teachers of Loyola High School, Fr Peter says that teachers play an important role to inculcate values in a child. They perform their responsibilities with dedication. “I feel that some of the old teachers were excellent. They would teach and walk an extra mile for their students as if they were their own children. Seldom do we see such whole hearted commitment in teaching now. Today, teaching is looked at a perspective of profession and employment. But, some great teachers exist even today, who give whole-hearted dedication in teaching their students.”
Students stand as accountable as teachers for the achievements of the school. “The way our students cooperate with teachers by implementing the values that the school and teachers offer them is worth noticing. We encourage them to participate, but it is they who take initiative and come up with innovative ideas. They cooperate with us following the rules and values we inculcate in them. Teachers and students build good rapport with each other.”
Winning the ‘White Swan Award’ has come as an unexpected surprise to the school. “Initially, I was skeptical about it and I was hesitant to let out the information they required. Later, I researched about the magazine and was convinced about their annual awards.” There were no entries or registration; rather it is the organisation that nominated Loyola High School through the research they conducted. “The research was held at a national-level. There were exactly thousand schools that were nominated through their research of schools all across the country. Loyola was one amongst them,” he adds.
However, this is not the first award that Loyola has won at a national-level. In the year 2010 they bagged a national-level award for water harvesting. The students of Loyola are known to excel in sports including basketball, table tennis, cricket, football, swimming, etc. Fr Peter adds: “We have an excellent team for quiz, one of which reached at the semi finals of Bournvita Quiz Contest. Be it elocution, theatre or drawing, I personally, encourage the students to participate so that they can reach the peak.”
Education is the premier goal of the institution; however, Fr Peter says that he is not too happy with the way the system works. He says: “I feel Government should not interfere with the administration and other aspects linked to functioning of the school just because the schools are aided by them. Many a times, teachers are given other work, apart from teaching, which I feel is not correct. This is one reason that leads to privatisation of schools. I think it is critical to re-think seriously about our education system. Also, the educational experts should be hired to revise the system, with no inclusion of any politics.”
Loyola High School was first known as Union High School that was founded on July 13, 1899 by the late Roque Santana Gracias. In 1932, it was then acquired by the Archdiocese of Goa and it was renamed as St Theotonius Union High School. Later in 1944, the institution was entrusted to Goa Jesuits Society. The school then came to be known as Loyola High School, named after the Founder of the Jesuits, St Ignatius of Loyola.
Fr Peter who feels proud about the achievement of school says: “I had not expected the award and I feel great that Loyola High School achieved it. We will continue putting in our efforts for the overall development of the students in the institution.”