In the late 1930s the Archdiocese of Delhi invited the Christian Brothers to set up a school for Boys in Delhi. The school started in 1941. The date of the establishment of the school (just 6 years before the country’s independence) and the choice of the Christian Brothers (a non-clerical religious order-not the most famous in the country) is significant. It is also significant that the Christian Brothers should have named this school St Columba’s and that the school motto - “Sapare Aude - Sincere et constanter” should have been chosen.
It was evident at the time when the Christian Brothers were invited to open the school, that India’s independence from British rule was inevitable. The Catholic Church was focused on playing its role on the development of the new nation. While there were Catholic schools for girls established in the city, there was no Catholic school for boys. As Delhi would be the capital of the new country, it was felt by the Catholic Church that in the multi-cultural and multi-religious society of this new nation, the Catholic Church needed to contribute to the growth and development of this nation, help to mold future leaders with hearts and minds that would serve this country, to provide educational opportunities for a migrant population which would be called on to serve in leadership of the country - a significant number of whom would be Christian and to enhance the role of the Christian community in the growth of this great nation.
Edmund Rice, the founder of the Christian Brothers established the Congregation of Christian Brothers in Ireland and England to bring hope to the children and youth of a subdued and subjugated nation – he drew each person to realize their reality as children of God and he drew forth their potential to live lives of dignity. The Christian Brothers in India, had primarily (over the previous 100 years) been providing education to orphans at various hill stations and railway hubs in the country. These orphanages had also welcomed others to the schools – many of which were residential. The Brothers had gained a reputation of being able to provide a good, quality Catholic education at affordable rates to the lower and middle classes of society and many of the privileged classes too, who, on learning of the high standards of education in these schools sought them for education of their sons.
“Sapare Aude” - ‘Dare to know’ / ‘Dare to be wise’ was the call of Horace and Emmanuel Kant in their respective ages of enlightenment to call on the people of their ages to risk seeking the truth. Knowledge and Truth if sought for honestly, involves not only enquiry but perseverance in spite of the challenge that knowledge may present to the seeker and to those who quest for knowledge / truth. The characteristics of those who will be true seekers are those who pursue knowledge through adversity – sincerely and constantly. This is the motto of St Columba’s.
St. Columba is one of the three prominent Irish saints. He is famed for the monastery he established in Iona in Scotland and the centre of learning it became in his day and long into Irish history.
The school’s anthem well focuses on the vision and mission of the school.
In later years Columbans latched on to the words “We Care” to encapsulate who Columbans are. “We care” is interpreted as “it matters to us” - it matters to us - how we live our personal and social lives; it matters to us what policies and practices govern our country and earth; it matters to us that many of countrymen are deprived of their basic human dignity even 70+ years after our independence and Columbans assume the responsibility to build a more equitable nation. Thus, Columbans are committed to self and social appraisal and to offer society, after due intellectual searching and dialogue, more just and humane ways of being and interacting.
Guided by the Divine and by motivated and competent educators working in collaboration with parents and fellow educators, Columbans are well grounded leaders in varied fields of the country and the world, who in their personal lives, relationships and endeavours are committed seekers of knowledge and truth, advocates for a just and humane world, persons with a positive and hopeful outlook in life.
Is to create a school environment where:-