Education

LORETO EDUCATION BOARD, SOUTH ASIA PROVINCE

The Loreto tradition of education draws its inspiration from the vision of the Institute’s Founder, the Venerable Mary Ward, who believed that “women in time to come will do much”. The Loreto ideal of education seeks to empower women through its values of Freedom, Sincerity, Justice and Joy.

In 1821 an Irish nun by the name of Mother Teresa Ball, founded the first House of the Institute in Ireland. From here, in 1841, a group of intrepid nuns led by the twenty-three-year-old Mother Delphine Hart, brought the Institute to India and in January 1842 Loreto House, a premier girls’ school, was established in erstwhile Calcutta. Simultaneously the Loreto Sisters began teaching the poor children in Moorgihatta, near the Portuguese Cathedral in Kolkata. Imparting quality education to girls from all sections of society, irrespective of class or community, and reaching out to the least and the last in society, remain the ethos of all Loreto schools in the region.

India was the first overseas mission of the IBVM and there has been no looking back since then. From India, in response to the needs of the times, Loreto moved to Nepal and Bangladesh and today the Loreto Sisters in South Asia run and administer -

  • a) 15 mainstream schools- Loreto House, Loreto Convent Entally, Loreto Day Schools Bowbazar, Dharamtalla, Elliot Road and Sealdah in Kolkata, Loreto Convent Shimla, Loreto Convent, Delhi Cantt., Loreto Intermediate College, Lucknow, St. Agnes’ Loreto Day School, Lucknow, Loreto Convent, Ranchi, Loreto Convent, Asansol, Loreto Convent, Darjeeling, St. Teresa’s Girls’ HS School, Darjeeling and Loreto Convent, Shillong
  • b) 7 mission schools- Loreto Schools in Lolay, Panighatta, Sadam (in Sikkim) and Dharan (in Nepal), Loreto St. Vincent’s School, Thakurpukur, St. Alfred’s Bangladesh and Loreto Nursery school, Dhaka
  • c) 1 post- graduate college- Loreto College, Kolkata

In addition to this, several of the mainstream schools successfully run Out- reach programmes on the school campus.

Pushpa Vidyalaya in St. Agnes’ Loreto Day School, Lucknow has 12 trained lay staff and a Sister in-charge; a tailoring class has been introduced for girls of Classes VII-IX. Students now appear for the Class X, UP Board examination.

Jagriti Loreto Vidyalaya, Loreto Convent, Lucknow- has a staff of 13. Health camps are organised and a Computer lab has been set up in the school; students also use the Home Science lab in Loreto Convent and take part in the Annual Sports. The school has been extended till Class X and runs a Vocational Training Centre too.

Ankur Vidyalaya, Asansol-a Literacy Centre, has 3 teachers and a coordinator. They are taught about health & hygiene along with the 3 R’s and the Centre forms the Each One Teach One programme of Loreto Convent; classes in Ankur Vidyalaya extend from Nursery to NIOS; both schools collaborate in several projects and the school also runs a Vocational Training Centre.

The Literacy Centre in Loreto House has two teacher volunteers to teach poor students from the neighbourhood; senior students also take classes.

The goals of the Loreto Education Board were drawn up at a meeting commissioned in 2011 and its chief tenets are as follows-

  • To ensure that our IBVM ethos and philosophy are promoted and nurtured
  • To ensure that the care of Faith is given top priority in our schools and to promote multi- cultural and multi- faith dialogue
  • To provide assistance and support to Principals as and when required
  • To foster right relationships and encourage networking with all our schools at national and international levels
  • To ensure the safety and protection of all children and adults under our care
  • To promote excellence in teaching and learning
  • To collaborate and update ourselves with all the changes in other Education Boards
  • · To foster personal and professional growth

  • To bring about a social transformation
  • To promote ‘zero’ tolerance for failure
  • To advise and make recommendations to the Provincial Council regarding educational matters

To achieve the objective of quality education for all, the Loreto Education Board monitors uniform curriculum transaction and the smooth functioning of these institutions by organising workshops, orientation programmes for staff, annual summits for Principals and school leaders and school evaluations. Loreto South Asia Policy manuals are periodically updated in keeping with global trends in education. “Keeping our focus fixed”, Loreto education draws its bearings from Jesus, His gospel and the Mary Ward charism, to ensure a holistic, value- based education based on the principles of Catholic Social teaching, thereby enabling students from all faiths and cultures to experience God as the true source of humanity, the One in whom they “live and move and have their being”.

BE SEEKERS OF TRUTH ANDS DOERS OF JUSTICE