The year 2019-20 was a year of blessing for the staff and students of St Agnes Special School, who counted each day as a part of the celebration of the Golden jubilee of the school and marked it with 50 activities.
The finale of the Golden Jubilee of the school was celebrated in a simple, yet a meaningful way recently. The celebration began with a Thanksgiving Mass on the 26th of November at 10 am by Most Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore along with Fr Vincent Monteiro, Vicar Forane Episcopal Varado and Parish Priest St Sebastian’s Church and Fr Walter DMello – Judicial Vicar for Mangalore and Udupi districts.
After the Mass, there followed a short programme with a prayer song and a welcome dance. Principal Sr Maria Shruthi accorded a loving welcome to the dignitaries, invitees and the audience. The Founder Principal Sr Maria Jyothi AC and the retired staff members were felicitated for their loving and dedicated service to the special children. In gratitude for the service rendered by all the parish priests of Bendore Parish, the present Parish priest Fr Vincent Monteiro was felicitated. Sr Maria Shamita was given the honour on behalf of all the Provincials Superior who have guided the Institution since its inception. Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha was felicitated, remembering the support given by the past bishops of Mangalore.
The Provincial Superior in her message appreciated the work done by the staff and encouragement them to continue the good work with more zeal and dedication. Most Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha also appreciated the noble work of the founder principal, present principal, the past and the present staff members. He requested them to extend this noble service to the villages as well, so that the persons with disabilities who are neglected may be benefited by their service.
A brief report on the activities of Golden Jubilee was shown through PowerPoint Presentation. The audience was moved to tears to see the presentation of some of the students greeting virtually on this auspicious occasion of the Golden Jubilee of their beloved school.
The Finale of the Golden Jubilee was ended by planting trees such as Coconut, Lime, Neem tree, Flower plant and fruit yielding trees symbolizing the journey ahead and to face the challenges of imparting caring love on special children with greater determination though it may be filled with bitterness, sweetness or with joy. Teacher Marceline Noronha compeered the programme while PTA president Irene Pinto proposed the vote of thanks. The programme ended with a fellowship meal.
Kindly click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCF-lBc_YT8 to view the programme.
About the School: The year 1970 was a landmark in the history of the Apostolic Carmel. It was the centenary of the Establishment of the Apostolic Carmel Congregation in India. Though education of girls was the mission carried out for 100 years, Mother M. Theodosia AC, the then Superior General and Sr Fidelis AC, the Secretary of the Apostolic Carmel Educational Society, Karnataka found a void in the scheme of education – the education of the Mentally Challenged Children. So, it was decided to start a school for these children, as the centenary Memorial of the Apostolic Carmel in India.
The school began with 5 children under the efficient leadership of Sr Maria Jyothi AC as the service project of the Psychology department of St Agnes College, on St Agnes Convent premises in “The Rest”, a cosy house, on 4th August 1970. It was the first school for the Mentally Challenged Children in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi District.
The motto chosen for the school was “IN LOVE WE GROW”. It helped in drawing out the children with special needs from the background of cold isolation and neglect, to the warmer atmosphere of love and understanding and provided them with the training necessary for their growth and development.
Vision and Mission: Inspired by Christ’s Compassion for persons with disability and the charism of our Foundress Venerable Mother Veronica, the staff of special School strives to help those under their charge, to accept their condition and to use their potential to the maximum extent and thus leading them towards a better quality of life.
The school helps the differently-abled students to achieve as much integral development as possible i.e. intellectual development and healthy social and spiritual fulfilment according to each one’s individual potential.
The school was shifted to the present new building in the year 1973 and in 1977 the school was officially separated from St Agnes College and was administrated as an independent unit of St Agnes Convent. The St Agnes College service project was renamed as St Agnes Special School. Gradually the support of the parents was appreciated through the Parent-Teacher Association which was started in the year 1980. Experimental units of Scouts and Guides founded in 1978-79 blossomed in the year 1980 and found their place in the galaxy of the Bharath Scouts and Guides Movement. It is growing in full swing as our children are very active in these units.
VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE helps the adult mentally and physically challenged persons to earn while they learn and prepare them for their future employment. The mentally challenged adults are taught vocational skills like bookbinding, carpentry, chalk making, drawing, painting, stitching, flower making and other crafts while some earn, and others spend their time usefully contributing their best in the production unit. The pride of the boys in the bookbinding trade has now developed into book production with new machines purchased and every year exercise books are provided to the schools and colleges of the Apostolic Carmel institutions. At present, there are 85 adult boys and girls working in St Agnes Vocational Training Centre.
The special school progressed steadily and the number of pupils seeking admission increased. The space in the existing school building was not sufficient to accommodate them. Hence to mark the opening of the Silver Jubilee Year of St Agnes Special School, the special school extension block was blessed on 4th August 1994 by the then bishop of Mangalore Rt Rev Dr Basil D’Souza
At present we have 200 and more children studying under the school section till they attain the age of 18 years. Those who are not able to go to the regular school and dropouts from the schools have been given an opportunity to study through the National Institute of Open Schooling and Karnataka Open School Bangalore, secondary and senior secondary courses which enable them to complete their SSLC and PUC and thereafter they are helped to take training in some professional courses.
The children are given opportunities to take an active part in various intra and inter-school cultural and sports events and have brought laurels to the school by winning a number of prizes and medals. Several students have taken part in the Special Olympics too and St Agnes Special School places on record in its Golden year that so far 8 students have participated in the International Special Olympics held in the countries such as Ireland, Shanghai China, Athens Greece, Australia, Los-Angeles USA and Dubai and have won several medals made the school proud.
You are welcome to support the differently-abled children of the School by being a well-wisher, a donor or a volunteer. Kindly contact 0824-2443376 or 9483442376
Long Live St Agnes Special School.