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Don Bosco Principals Reflect on Quality Education, Administration and Management
By Fr. George Shining Lyngkhoi sdb & Deacon Gabriel C
Shillong, Jan. 26. The Salesian Province of Silchar organized a two day workshop on ''School Education - Quality Administration and Management'' for the Principals, Vice Principals and Headmasters of Silchar Province at St. Anthony's College, Shillong, 21-22 January.
School Principles of Silchar Province gather at St.Anthony`s College Shillong for their annual Workshop
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At the start of the programme, welcoming the participants the Provincial Fr. (Dr.) George Maliekal, reminded them that a master who stops learning begins to lose his mastership, and exhorted them to be people who are responsible and men who continue to learn. He pointed out also that as educators and Heads of the institutions they ought to reflect, interact and be determined  in the task of guiding the young.

Br. Albert L. Dkhar, Principal of St.Anthony's College, Shillong, in his keynote address stressed on combining leadership with ethics after the example of Lord Jesus Christ who was the greatest of leaders with ethics. He focused on the phrase, ''the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart''. He  referred also to Pope Francis' style of leadership.

The Chief Guest, Mr. L. Roy, IAS, Chairman, Private Universities Regularity Board, Government of Meghalaya, appreciated and thanked the Salesians of Don Bosco for their work in the education field. He suggested that it is time for the Salesians of Don Bosco to refocus on their system of education. He spoke on the need for teachers to be familiar with today's world and its challenges.

Fr. (Dr.) Vettath Jose, Rector of Sacred Heart Theological College Mawlai, in an input session, stressed on the need to return to Don Bosco and know the Historical Context in which the congregation began and grew. ''To return to Don Bosco, is to return to the Young,'' he said.

Mr.Isaias Zacharias Chacko, speaking on Financial Management underscored the need of keeping  in minute details the records of the income and expense of the school.

Using a video clip on the Strenna Fr. Provincial spoke of the salesians as team players, each having a role to play in the community, in the province, in the region and in the whole congregation. He exhorted the Salesians to play a fair game with love, support and unity as a team.

Mr. Dony Peter Chacko, another resource person, took up themes like Inter-Personal Relationship, Readiness for Service and Human Resource Management. He talked elaborately on how leaders of institutions can bring about a relationship that is loyal, cordial and sincere and thus elicit greater commitment. He invited the principals to think ahead a great deal and to be willing to collaborate in all aspects.

Prof. F.A. Lamare, HoD of Chemistry Department of St. Anthony's College, Shillong, spoke on the factors that contribute towards 'A Great School or College'. His talk was based on research and opinions of parents as well as students who had passed out.

In the evenings, the Salesians gathered together to listen to one another on the new initiatives, the successes and challenges and also on the plans ahead for each of the institutions.They shared also audio visual presentations of their own schools, amply demonstrating the effort everyone was making to ensure that the educational institutions under their care became places of quality Salesian apostolate.

While addressing the gathering at the close of the event, Fr. Provincial proposed  '3Cs' as a parting message:  Communication, Collaboration and Competence. He insisted that there is need for better communication among members in the community, for better collaboration between the Principal, the Vice Principal, Sisters and other lay-staff in our schools. ''As of now,'' the Provincial said,  ''we appear to be under-performers; but through greater commitment and competence we can achieve much more as a Province and as communities.''
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