NepalKhalabar.com online news portal produced an in-depth interview with Fr. Boniface Tigga SJ, Regional Superior of Nepal and Director or Nepal Jesuit Society with the title of “We want real conversion of our students beyond religion”.
In the interview Fr. Tigga tells the story of Jesuit schools in Nepal from the humble beginnings of just 60 students in 1951 to an ever growing number of students who receive a quality education.
“Nepal Jesuit Society has a long history. We came at the invitation of the Government of Nepal in 1951 and started the first school in Godawari. We started the school with 60 students studying in a converted horse stable, which now has provided quality education to nearly 10,000 students. Initially St. Xavier’s was started for providing education to boys, but from 1996 we began co-education for both boys and girls. At present, all our schools are co-educational.”
Furthermore, he highlights the mission of the Nepal Jesuit schools. “Our services are for all, especially for the poor. Even our “flagship” institutions provide head-start programs to help the poor, who receive scholarships, to fit into the schools. All don’t graduate but carry on in life with a positive attitude. Many continue on through college. In one generation, the children of illiterate parents become college graduates!”
When asked about the diversity of the curriculum in the Jesuit schools Fr. Tigga highlighted the importance of cura personalis and integral formation of students.
“People who come to our place could be the best persons to answer the question as the quality of education is the same. However, Jesuits have their educational philosophy as we want to focus on overall and all-round development of children and it is blended with the overall development of a human being. We have many extra-curricular activities for overall development of the children and sometimes some parents feel that we are giving too much priority to extra-curricular activities. During my interaction with them I urge all students to be a good human being apart from being a successful person as all persons should contribute to their society. Based on my conversation with parents, what I can tell you is that they got more interested due to our philosophy of overall development. We try to give something that is useful for their whole life so they get attracted to come here. Ramro-sasto! We thrive to train the head, heart and hand. We don’t claim to provide the best academic education, but hopefully our graduates succeed because they are people for others.”
The rest of the interview raises important questions about providing quality education at an affordable cost, political and religion related questions and the future of the Jesuits’ work in Nepal, which includes social, health and education services.
To read the full article published by NepalKhalabar.com on 17th July 2017 please click here.
Photo credit: NepalKhalabar.com