Mangaluru, Nov 7: The Catholic Association of South Kanara (CASK) organized a teacher enrichment programme for 15 teachers of SDM School, Dumbell, Ashoknagar-Mangaluru on November 4, 2021.
The program started with a prayer and lighting of the main “Mother candle” by the Principal – Joy Rai while the song – “Carry Your Candle… There is a candle in every soul, some burning brightly, and some dark and cold, there is a spirit who brings fire, Ignites a candle and makes His home” was being played in the background. All the participating teachers then lit a candle each from the main candle paid a compliment to their colleagues and raised the candles highlighting the joy of lighting and lifting their students to greater heights with the message “Take your candle, go light the world.”
Patsy Lobo, coordinator of the programme mentioned the objectives of the teacher enrichment programme and introduced capt Vincent Pais, president-CASK. Capt Pais welcomed the teachers, wished them all a very happy Diwali and highlighted the charitable activities of CASK.
The sessions started off on a wonderful note, with the energy and enthusiasm of Patsy Lobo. She gave a brief introduction to “Collective Mindfulness” and the Japanese concept of “ICHIGO ITCHIE” – The Art of making the most of every moment, the Japanese way. She highlighted the need to be an optimistic leader and asked the teachers to make a positive pledge, comment or choose not to contribute another negative one” on a hand out given to teachers.
Geeta Pereira gave a talk on ‘Effective Communication’ and its importance for Success in life. She acquainted the teachers with the importance of communication in the modern world and the various forms of communication. She said that even the most eminent personalities in the world get nervous before speaking in public, but with practice and time, each person can speak fluently and confidently on stage formally or informally. She gave the example of President Barak Obama who could keep his audience in rapt attention through short and apt sentences.
Dr Derek Lobo in his presentation on national education policy 2020, said that the aim of education is not success in examinations but to “Develop Personality Skills for Success and Happiness in Life” and mould the students to be concerned citizens of India, contributing to the nation’s development. Thus it is important that the teachers shift focus from success in examinations to a holistic and comprehensive development of students with emphasis on Learning objectives and practical work. NEP 2020 promotes vocational training from Grade-6. He also commended the fact that NEP brings children of Age 3-6 in to the mainstream of formal education. He emphasized the importance of career guidance to students from grade-6 onwards and also to their parents so that the student chooses the right stream and sub-stream as per their aptitude and strengths.
In his presentation, Archiebald Menezes gave advise on ‘Personal Financial Management’. He started by defining the savings goal and proposed that we change from Income-Expenditure = Savings to Income-Savings = Expenditure. He gave a brief on the various instruments for savings and income generation through different investment portfolios.
A walking nature encyclopedia is a fitting epithet for Dr Anand Pereira, who seemed to have an endless trove of information on biodiversity. He is an avid photographer and the teachers had the privilege of viewing some of his breath-taking wildlife and nature photographs. He took them on a virtual tour of the Western Ghats, and its fauna and flora. He pointed out the plight of the animals and birds due to urbanization and deforestation. He also highlighted India’s Prime Minister’s commitment at the COP 26 summit in Glasgow (Oct.31 to November 12, 2021) to reduce India’s carbon intense economy, including to adopt net zero target by 2070, by increasing reliance on renewables. However, he concluded on a positive note by saying “all is not lost. The world is at a turning point and we all have the power to make a change in the world”.
Dr Lavina Noronha spoke on ‘Student Mental Health – Teachers as Gatekeepers’ and provided data on the large of students who are stressed and require medical help and counseling. The teachers have to be in the forefront of identifying such students and direct them for professional counseling. She also lamented about the large number of student suicides in India and gave tips on preventing suicides and informed about the 24-hour Helpline for people planning to end their life.
After the highly informative and motivational presentations, Patsy Lobo conducted the closing session by thanking the principal and teachers for their participation. Each teacher was adorned with a sash with a special message written on it to inspire and motivate the teachers and a memento with the same message and a certificate. Each teacher was also given file produced by differently abled persons at rehabilitation centre, Fr Muller Hospital. The programme ended with vote of thanks by Asha Hegde , the co-coordinator of SDM and concluding remarks by the principal – Joy Rai.
CASK and Suicide Lifeline Collaboration
The Catholic Association of South Kanara (CASK) has been organizing personality development programme for school /college students since 2012 and conducting a teacher enrichment programme for teachers since 2017. Apart from these two useful and impactful programmes, CASK also supports many charitable activities like annual scholarships for deserving students, footwear for barefoot school children, installing safe drinking water units in rural schools, home for homeless, tree planting and eye care to name a few.
Since 2020, CASK has been collaborating with the suicide lifeline, Mangaluru in creating awareness about role of teachers in suicide prevention. Usha Rao, facilitator & trainer = suicide helpline was one of the resource persons at the CASK programmes. She addressed the teachers from the following schools :
Rotary Navachetana School, Nirmarga – 22 teachers
Chinmaya High School, Kadri – 25 teachers
Canara Higher Primary School, Urwa – 30 teachers
Milagres College, Hampankatta – 22 teachers
Sharada Vidyaniketana PU College, Talapady – 48 teachers
Total Teachers who benefited from the programme : 147
Usha Rao addressed the students of the following schools on the topic “Cultivate Happiness” :
St.Agnes CBSE High School – 110 students of Class-10
Milagres High School – 40 students of Class-10
Total Students who benefited – 150
Suicide lifeline is grateful to CASK, especially Patsy Lobo, coordinator of the CASK teacher enrichment programme for collaborating with suicide lifeline in creating awareness programmes for teachers and Students.