COVID-19 as a global pandemic calls for social distancing and has made it mandatory to live indoors in isolation. St. Lawrence High School, (SLHS) Kolkata, under our Principal, Father Sebastian James, S.J. along with the Cultural Team, has taken initiative in this regard to overcome the academic pressure and mental anxieties experienced by the students. Below we share some examples of this carried out during 2020 and in 2021.
Christmas was celebrated in an innovative manner last December, with the flavour of Traditional Bengali Culture. The initiative was taken by Ms. Saswati Biswas, Ms. Sweta Chanda and Ms. Debaleena Ganguly. The entire programme was recorded in the school within a day. Abiding by COVID Regulations a few teachers and senior school students, dressed in traditional Bengali attire, shot the video in different locations of the school. Popular Rabindra Sangeet “Shokatore oi Kadiche Shokole” and “Aji Shubho Dine” were sung with the accompaniment of musical instruments, played by the students. The programme was a beautiful blend of recitation, music and dance performances.
The primary children, guided by the teachers, made an excellent video on the occasion of Teacher’s Day 2020. The sixteen minute long video, shot in many parts by different students, were sent to the school, where it was edited and made into a beautiful video. It started with the Principal’s Address, encouraging the little ones to begin the celebration. The video consisted of speeches, songs, recitation of poems in three different languages – English, Hindi and Bengali, and a melodious instrumental version of the soulful Rabindra Sangeet “Jagorone Jai Bibhabori” played on the violin by Arko Bhattacharya of class VI C. It was truly a touching moment for all the teachers to view the video on Teacher’s Day, which was uploaded on YouTube.
The students of our school feel priviledged to be a part of the Jesuit Global Activism Leadership Summit 2021, scheduled to be held in March 2021. The invitation was put forth by Mr. Robert Chura, Director of Global Education. The theme is “Sustainable Development Goals” under which three topics have been chosen: ‘Gender Equality’, ‘Zero Hunger’ and ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’. In connection with the Summit, our students have already made contact with St. Louis University High School, USA, by means of Online Live Video Communication. On February 2nd and 11th 2021, the students engaged in a ruminative discussion on Theological and Social Matters centering on the Socio-Religious Influcences found within our society and the way it shapes our thought and culture. Mr. Garavaglia, Theology Teacher, presented our students with a number of thought-provoking questions such as “What is Dharma” and the essence of Yoga. The exchange has contributed to an enhanced cross-cultural understanding among our students. By working with and learning from students who are different from them culturally, geographically and ideologically, our students feel adequately empowered to respond to global issues in a better way. Our students are looking forward to collaborating with students from different countries in the Summit. The other institutions that are going to participate are St. Louis University High School (USA), Boston College High School, Regis High School (Denver), Regis High School (Manhattan) and Jesuit High School (Portland).