Education A Gateway To Development, Says Bishop Of Kohima - Eastern Mirror
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Kohima, Nagaland

Education a gateway to development, says Bishop of Kohima

By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Oct 13, 2023 9:25 pm
St. Paul School, Phesama: Celebrating 50 Years of Education and Values
Rev. Dr. James Thoppil, Rev. Fr. Dr. Melvin Pereira, Rev. Sr. Jessin FCC and others during the golden jubilee celebration of St. Paul School in Phesama on Friday. (EM Images)

Describing education as a gateway to the socio-cultural and economic development of individuals and the nation, the Bishop of Kohima Diocese, Rev. Dr. James Thoppil, said it fosters pluralism, cultural and religious diversity, individual and collective freedom and respect for differences in the face of global pressures for uniformity.

He stated this during the gold jubilee celebration of St. Paul School in Phesama, a few kilometres away from the state capital, Kohima. Rev. Thoppil said education should empower individuals to grow as men and women of character, competence, conscience, compassion, and commitment.

He stressed that education should promote collaboration, cooperation, and uprightness in the face of a ruthlessly competitive world and a corrupt society. He added that education should empower people to live well and be happy, inspiring them to do the right things, and love knowledge, purity, justice, and life.

He lauded the remarkable growth of St. Paul School, Phesama, from a ‘tiny seed to a mighty tree, spreading its branches and seeds far and wide.’ Highlighting the significance of 50 years in the life of an institution, he said ‘every journey begins with a single step, which if taken correctly, leads to success and benefits the future generations.

Rev. Thoppil recalled the school’s inception in 1973, initiated by Jesuit fathers, which has since brought light and hope to people not only in Phesama but also to neighbouring villages and among students from other areas.

“Over the past five decades, countless individuals have passed through the school’s gates, finding their place in society,” said Thoppil while expressing gratitude to the pioneers, especially the members of the Jesuit Society and their collaborators, including the FCC sisters, who persevered despite opposition and hardship to nurture the institution and its students.

He urged the students of St. Paul School, past, present, and future, to be ambassadors of the institution’s values, which go beyond mere academic education.

He emphasised on the Catholic Church’s dedication to education as a means of liberation and imparting fullness of life, focusing on holistic development and competence rather than profit.

He further underlined the Church’s mission to build a just society based on justice, peace, love, and harmony, emphasising on the importance of literacy, skills, social consciousness, and spiritual motivation among citizens.

Rev. Fr. Dr. Melvin Pereira, regional superior of North East Jesuit Region and chairman of Nagaland Jesuit Educational Society, attended the event as the guest of honour.

Rev. Pereira acknowledged that the school’s achievements would not have been possible without the vision of the late Fr. Stanley Coelho SJ, who planted a tiny seed in 1973 that has since grown into a fruitful tree yielding a rich harvest.

He recounted fifty years ago, when the Jesuits at the invitation of the late JB Jasokie, who was the education minister at the time, arrived in Jakhama and established their first institution, Loyola School.

He acknowledged Sally, the first teacher of the school, sisters and Phesama Students’ Union for their contributions towards the school while mentioning how the people of Phesama have significantly contributed to social work, transforming the campus over the years.

DIG Videlalie Zashümo, an alumnus of the school, reminisced about his school days, noting that the quality of education remains unwavering and expressed pride in the new buildings and infrastructure within the school over the past five decades.

Zashümo highlighted the school’s role in shaping students and instilling values for nation-building.

The event also included speeches by Rev. Sr. Jessin FCC, the school’s principal; Vishüsa Zashümo, GB of Phesama village; and Dzüvichüto Khale on behalf of the alumni.

Highlights of the celebrations included a blessing of the jubilee memorial stone, presentation of song, dance, and music performances by students and members of St. Paul Catholic Church, Phesama, and felicitations to distinguished individuals by Phesama Students’ Union.

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By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Oct 13, 2023 9:25:42 pm
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