Dear Columbans and well-wishers,
As we enter into academic year 2022-23, we should be aware that new ways of schooling have come to the fore while we have been in the midst of these unprecedented pandemic times that has gripped us during the last two years. The future beckons and we are all called to accept what has been, so as to address what is to come – a future that possibly involves a ‘new normal’. The loss in so many aspects of our day to day living, in addition to the loss of life all around us, asks of us fundamental questions about our way of living.
The virtual world has kept us busy and connected but not in the true sense of what we human beings, who are part of an ecosystem and a society, are meant to be. Our meetings after months of being physically separated gives us the opportunity to pursue what school is really meant for – to shape us to face a future that is uncertain. To physically see, interact and be with each other again, should give us a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude since we share common values and goals in St. Columba's.
While I commend the efforts of the teachers and the students in adapting to online teaching and study during the course of this pandemic, all of us are also aware of the learning gaps that have been created during this time. A tremendous amount of hard work and commitment will be required on the part of all students as the teachers try and bridge these learning gaps. Parents play a crucial role in encouraging their children to focus and work hard so that collectively this can be achieved.
We are well into 2022 which is the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development. The UN hopes that Science responds to the needs of humankind by providing access to information and increasing societal well-being, and promoting peace through improved collaboration towards the SDGs. As a result, we push ourselves to excel academically but also approach each day with the knowledge that intelligence alone cannot sustain us. It is our relating in a healthy and respectful manner that will.
The qualities of kindness, helpfulness, acceptance, patience, resilience, gratitude, and so forth, are key to allowing our school to be a happy place. The pandemic has been harsh to all of us at different levels. Therefore, being in solidarity with each other to overcome its effects is the need of the hour. Each day, all of us should feel contented and joyful. Let us strive to achieve this by carrying out as many acts of kindness that we possibly can.
May we facilitate each other’s growth to become the best versions of ourselves with each passing day.
Br. Robert Fernandes
Principal, St. Columba’s School