On 15th January 2014 all the teachers of Kishor Nagar gathered in the school Staff Room at 9.00 am for the Inauguration of the workshop. The Director gave a brief introduction and explained the purpose of the programme. Kishor Nagar was started 43 years and over the years major changes have come about in the world around us, even in the villages. It is time to reflect on the present environment in which we have to function and to deliberate on the objectives of Kishor Nagar in today’s fast changing society.
Fr. Alexius Ekka, Director of XISS, inaugurated the workshop with a PP presentation on the life of Ignatius of Loyola and the origin of the Society of Jesus. Ignatius gathered a group of companions, who devoted their lives to the service of God and humanity.
After the inauguration the Facilitator of the workshop, Dr. Sant Kumar, Faculty of XISS, explained the dynamics of the workshop. He invited the teachers to start with a review of the origin and growth of Kishor Nagar. Fr. L. Francken started with a brief life sketch of Fr. Victor Van Bortel. The teachers in turn shared their insights and experiences about the evolution of the institution. They spoke at length about the personality of the Founder. “Father lived a life of total dedication in caring for the boys. He never took a holiday and whenever he had to go out, he tried to be back the same day. He did not want any personal recognition for the good work he was doing. He would refuse all awards and never went for any public functions. He did not want his photo to be published in the Newspapers. He was a humble person, a man of few words.”
In the afternoon session Dr Sant Kumar asked the participants to reflect on the present condition of the institution and to have a discussion on the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT Analysis) of Kishor Nagar today. He gave a brief exposition on this exercise. The participants were divided into two groups and the groups were given 45 minutes time to do this exercise. Each groups wrote down their observations on Chart Paper for presentation to the whole group.
A brief outline of the outcome of the deliberations is presented in the following table.
650 Boys eager to learn and help in the running of the home. Students doing well in the board examinations.
A core of experienced and committed teachers
Urgent repairs of structures required.
Shortage of funds – dependence on donations
Education provided does not equip the boys for proper employment.
The school is not yet recognized
Good will among the public towards KN.
Persons are coming forward to train our boys in sport activities.
Various Government schemes
Funds available under CSR.
Old boys are ready to form an Alumni association and help KN.
Possibility of decline of donation from abroad.
Adverse environment in Bargawan village: liquor shops, drugs. This affects the behaviour of the boys.
On the second day, 16th January the first session started with the recapitulation of the main points of the first day. After that Dr. Sant Kumar placed before the group the main issues which should be taken up for discussion. The main issues for further reflection and deliberation were:
1. Financial situation of the institution and the proper management of resources.
2. The educational system followed in KN.
The first issue, the financial situation of the institution, was taken up. The Director explained the financial position of Kishor Nagar. On the one hand in the last two years funds have come in for major repair works and for new constructions. This is project money (one time donation), which cannot be put to any other use and for which proper reporting has to be done. On the other hand donations for recurring expenses have declined in recent years and this is the major challenge before us. In response to these clarifications the participants made various suggestions as to how to improve the financial condition. It was suggested that we should make efforts to cut down on running expenses (electricity, water, diesel). The use of solar lights has to be explored. At the same time ways and means have to be found to increase income from our own resources, especially from the fields (use of drip irrigation?). Attempts at local fundraising should also be started (publication of a brochure and an Annual Newsletter).
In the afternoon the discussion on the issues related to education were taken up. Again many suggestions were put forward on different dimensions.
In terms of curriculum and syllabus it was agreed that value education should be pursued more explicitly by having moral science teaching.
The need was felt to have more exposure programmes for teachers so that they can develop their knowledge and teaching skills.
As most of our students do not want to go back to their village, there is a great need to equip with life skills, in particular fluency in English and proficiency in the use of computers.
At the end the teachers were invited to give their feedback on the two-day workshop. All agreed that it had been a very useful and fruitful programme. At the same it was felt that two days was not enough to come up with concrete objectives. All agreed that a follow is required so that we can formulate meaningful and relevant objectives for Kishor Nagar Today.
In the name of the teachers Mr. Sahdeo Baraik thanked Dr.Sant Kumar for his guidance and directions during the proceedings, as well as for sharing his experiences in the field of education and development.