St. Georges College/Hartmann House Response to the Rio Action Statement

By Fr. Joe Arimoso SJ
Oct 16th, 2018

We at St. Georges and Hartmann house were joyfully affirmed and encouraged by the outcomes of the JESEDU-Rio Congress in 2017. We were also challenged do more and below is our point by point response revealing where we have been and where we hope to go.

Action 1. The Examen is already practiced by all students in this way. Any teacher who has a class in this last lesson of the day either leads them in the Examen or gets a volunteer pupil to lead it. The students are always keen to lead. Among staff the practice is still fluid and left to the discretion of the individual members of staff though all staff have received some training in how the practice is conducted and what its roots are.

Action 2. All students in the junior secondary school have classes where they are introduced to some key elements of the religions of the world. The same is done in the primary school. Our seniors are always addressed as members of any of the major world religions and one of the modules in the RE syllabus covers religions of the world again. During retreats and other moments of instruction, religious plurality is always assumed.

Action 3. Students in the primary school at taught the Examen and have other periods of longer quiet prayer but the effort is more concerted in the secondary school where Forms 1 and 2 have a pilgrimage where there is hiking interspersed with brief periods of prayer and reflection. Forms 3 to 6 have between 1 day and 3 days of prayer and reflection away from the normal school programme annually. This retreat experience is very much cherished by the students.

Action 4. Driven by the school administration there is the refurbishment of classrooms (learning spaces) so that 21st century teaching and learning can take place. And the refurbishments are much appreciated by staff, students and parents alike. Accordingly there is a concerted effort to upgrade teaching and learning accordingly.

Action 5. Organisational structures reviewed and people from different backgrounds occupying the positions.

Action 6. Conscious invitations made at special assemblies but also SDC’s and then Ignatian Evenings for parents all of them geared at increasing parent participation and contribution to the school. Our sports fixtures have a family dimension which could be improved and out cultural productions are clearly targeted at family.

Action 7. Human excellence as embodied in the 4 C’s has been shared with staff, parents and even the students themselves. And it is becoming more and more our language. We celebrate the success of students in academics, sport, culture and we do award Ignatian values which are harder to measure.

Action 8. Healing earth is our weakest area – water bottle campaign is the beginning of an action. In 2019 January all Form one students will receive a permanent water bottle with their name on it which they will use. That way the school is getting rid of the disposable plastic bottles. This inspiration came straight from Rio.

Action 9. Efforts at quality education include our scholarship program for Makomborero and our outreach in service projects to less privileged schools followed by the Lenten campaign and recently the red chair campaign where we are bringing back school dropout into school.

Action 10. At highest levels we cooperate with fellow Jesuit Schools through heads’ and staff colloquia organized through the Jesuit Education office. We also extend our collaboration to Non­ Jesuit Schools through CHISZ and ATS and other groupings where we participate.

Action 11. Our global networking sees us participate in various way with Educate Magis and also with direct partnerships with other Jesuit Schools. Uptake is slow but it is happening.

Action 12. Global citizenship is under development at the moment but we are about to make a subject of it as well as have staff lead in it.

Action 13. Educate Magis is well advertised and many are on it though they are quiet members save for a few.