The Board of Governors (BOG) of the five Catholic mission schools in Sandakan paid an official visit to all their schools on Oct 8. They were accompanied by Fr David Garaman, the Rector of St Mary’s Cathedral and Pilis Malim, the Chairman of Parish Pastoral Council (PPC).
Mission schools place great emphasis on holistic education, balancing character development with academic excellence. It promotes the dignity, self-esteem and full development of the person, empowering young girls/boys to become people of integrity, with emphasis on the formation of the heart, so as to be committed to service to their family, nation and the world.
This is in tandem with the aspirations expressed in the Rukun Negara and the National Philosophy of Education. (Sabah Archdiocesan Education Commission)
In welcoming the Rector, the PPC Chairman, the BOG, and School Heads, Rose Solibun, Chairlady of Sandakan Diocesan Education Commission, affirmed the need to preserve the identity and maintain the ethos and special character of the mission schools.
In order to have the sense of ownership of the mission school, the BOG has played a greater part with active participation in the school’s affairs.
For a start, the School Heads were made aware of the importance of the ethos in preserving the Mission schools special character. Through this session, concise handbills on ethos, special character and tradition were presented to all the Headteachers of SM St Mary Secondary, SM St Cecilia Secondary, SK St Mary Convent and SK St Mary Labuk.
In his note of appreciation, Fr David Garaman said that he has been interested to look into the development of the mission schools since being appointed as the Rector of St Mary’s Parish. He acknowledged the need to have that sense of belonging through understanding the ethos, character and traditions of the mission schools. On the same note, he pointed out the importance of cooperation between the BOG, the School Heads and teachers in the Church to work together with one mind and one heart as a big team to realise that the mission schools are really ours.
He was pleased with the session (presenting of the ethos) and the schools’ walkabout as a good start and hoped that the visits to the schools will be held regularly. He thanked the Chairlady of the Diocesan
Education Commission for initiating the session, and the Headteachers of the schools for giving their time, especially in helping the Church to realise that the schools are really mission schools. He hoped that this cooperation and collaboration between the Church, the BOG and school Heads will be maintained so that we can make the mission schools truly belong to us.
The session ended with a luncheon hosted by SK St Mary’s Convent.
Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online