Maryknoll Girls High School to Maryknoll High School
A SPECTACULER JOURNEY OF 50 YEARS IN BARKUR ......
We the Barkurians, always remain grateful to all the educational Institutions in our town, especially these three – Maryknoll Hr Primary School, National Junior College and Maryknoll High school, all three of them having a colourful history of yeomen service and achievements for more than 50 long years. These are the Schools where most us studied, during those days of scarcity, poverty and poor transport facilities. Today, parents have options, money and amenities to send their children to the distant and distinguished, Schools and Institutions of their choice....!
The living standards of average Barkurian was, middle and lower middle class, in 1950’s till 1970, as most of the families were earning their livelihood from agriculture - paddy fields / coconut gardens, few as owners of holdings and many as tenants. Some male members working in Western Ghats, and beyond... till Mysore as coppersmiths.... and some families to be supported by monthly remittances from Bombay. A big chunk of population lived with large families with 5 – 10 children to be fed, could hardly afford to send their children for higher education.....In late 70’s and 80’s, there started the exodus of youth to Middle East countries and the followed Gulf flow of funds which has changed the economical standards and fortunes of most of our families. Thereafter, it’s all round improvement and material progress, moreover, ‘we two, ours two’ slogan of family planning, in 80’s reduced the family’s size to just three or four...! Each and everyone now in the rat race of competing in providing the best to their limited number of children......!
Once we look back, our own hardships, of yester years, all of us will agree, what we are today is because of the basic educational facilities we were blessed with in those days. We have to remember with gratitude’s those great visionaries true concern, for less privileged one’s. Today, even the services like health, education, insurance, public utilities etc. re viewed from the commercial angle.....!
Now coming to Maryknoll High school, (earlier known as Maryknoll Girls’ High School) which has commenced its Golden Jubilee Celebrations, has the contentment of a special mission accomplished. About 2000 or more studied over the years have studied here and flourished in their lives. Each one of them will have distinct experiences.......Its surely a great achievement because in 1966, as there was only one SMS High school in Brahmmavar – 1948 (Today, there must be more than 10 High Schools...) and no High School in Sastan, since Chetana High Scholl started in 1972 or so..... and we had Two High Schools in Barkur.....!
The social and economical conditions were not conducive to send girls to National High school, 1946 – 1966 for obvious reasons, like distant location... and mainly the compulsory monthly tuition fees, which was not affordable...... In these 20 years, I doubt, whether a total of 100 Catholic girls studied there or not.....?
It all happened in May, 1966, when Rev. Fr. Aloysius Rosario, then parish priest of St Peter Church, Barkur, invited ‘Sisters of Charity’ to open their Convent in Barkur and motivated them to start a High school exclusively for girls. In the beginning, 1 -2 years, it was accommodated in the existing MHPS, and later to the newly built building near Church. It was a boon to economically poor families to send their daughters to high school; otherwise, stopped at 7th Standards....Today, many who studied here are serving as teachers, nurses, in banks, as office administrators etc. They are sharing the burden of men in different walks of life. On the other hand most of those who studied here are though housewives realised the value of education and in turn responsible to send their children for better education in life.....
Girls' School - First Batch
Importance of higher education for Girls:
Higher Education empowers a grown up girl to become economically independent and a tool to balance gender in-equality, in the society. Its education which is responsible for woman’s freedom of thought and keeps them aware of the world and its progress....
It is well said, if a girl is educated then her whole family will be educated. Home life is brightened with our mother, sisters and wives. With education, our homes have become happy homes...!
In Barkur, Maryknoll Girls’ High school was responsible for the general welfare of our families, in nearly two decades:
•It motivated poor families to send their daughters to have high school studies.
•The high school – SSLC completed girls were bold enough to go for PUC studies in NJC and that prompted many aspirants to go for professional courses in Teaching, Nursing, Engineering, in Banks, Office administration......
•Boarding facilities, for girls is a blessing in disguise to have the required strength of students to get the Govt recognition. Moreover, this facilitated economically poor students to get the best education consequently better careers in life.....
•It also encouraged many of them to go for formal graduation, since there started SMS College at Brahmmavar in 1980, and few in MGM, PPC in Udupi and our own Milagres College, Kallianpur etc.
There was a general saying during my childhood days, that, Barkurian girls were in demand to have better choice of their life partners, thanks to higher standards of education....!
The past three decades and the role of MHS in general:
The doors were made open for boys in 1981 or so and co-education helped the institution to have better strength in their roll. Excellent teaching staff and encouragement for extra-curricular activities like Guides, sport and games, yoga, computer education have been given importance over here. It is catering the middle class children, irrespective of caste and creed. Moral and ethical education to teen agers is of prime importance and well taken care of.
Co-Ed - First Batch
Once University of Mangalore established in 1980, many new High Schools, Junior Colleges started. Today at Heradi, near Barkur there is one more English Medium High school. It’s tough time to attract students, and MHS is maintaining its impressive record with best results in SSLC public examinations, able to sustain the threat and continuing........!
Being a Kannada Medium High school, it is facing tough competitions from English Medium Schools in the neighbourhood. It would have changed the whole of Barkur, if we succeeded in giving what is in demand....in the event of MHPS would have been a English medium and automatically being its base, paved way for making MHS a English medium High school, LONG BACK and by now it would have been a Junior College.....! I am not an advocate for English medium in education, but anticipate from the authorities to go with a vision to provide what is expected and need of the hour......Of course the against all odds, Maryknoll High school has recorded an impressive SSLC results of 100% pass in the last few years, seven times in a row, is spectacular and unparalleled achievement. It’s also noteworthy to mention, in Diocese level catechism exams, the students from this Institution done well with ranks etc. The Church is just few meters away, spiritual nourishment and the present and previous resident priest’s special care and concern for school also contributed for its general well being.
Some personal views:
Two of my sisters and lone brother passed their SSLC from here. They still admire their almamater with reverence, as all the old students do. They always used to talk highly about all their teachers, two great pundits in Kannada & Hindi and the other in Mathematics & Science. Unlike us boys at NJC, they were privileged to have personalised care and concern of individual students. The earlier served Head mistress, Sr. Paula, Sr. Ilharia, Sr. Josephine and Sr. Olympia and other nuns were regularly visiting and updating parents... unlike us at NJC left bindas scot-free....! The moral and value education imparted here is of high value for two reasons – during the teenage and adolescent years, the responsibilities of parents is high and shared by these Sisters to a great extent. Secondly, the beginning of formation years to the adulthood to be a woman is nurtured. Career guidance at this stage made many girls to reach the height of success professionally. Here in MHS, almost all students were encouraged to develop their talents, skill and likes. During their Annual School days, almost all students were given some participation or the other.....!
Though we were less fortunate not to study at MHS, but were associated with some of the teachers during our CYM days. Almost 3 – 4 years, the nuns at MHS, contributed in a big way as Assistant Directors of ICYM. Especially we recall with gratitude’s the services of Sr. Lucretius, Sr. Paula, and Sr. Ilharia. Though I can’t recollect the names of many of them, but it was these sisters, who used to help us in make-up, dance and during stage shows. All the seminars / large gatherings, we conducted at MHS only. Many a time they were resource persons for leadership trainings.....The role of Sr. Mable during Decennial celebrations in 1987-88 still fresh in my memory chip. In recent years, the High school got new spacious and modern building with an open-air stage.
Relying on patroness Mother Mary’s benevolence, the Maryknoll High school is run by Sisters of Charity, with a dedicated and committed team of educators, both teaching and non-teaching, during past 50 years. The students were given integral, high quality; value based learning experiences of integrated and most importantly interactive learning atmosphere and improving in stature, within its limited exposures in the backdrop of semi urban location of Barkur.
The correspondent Sr. Sylvestrina Lobo, the Head Mistress Sr. Teresa John and her team, the former students fraternity, PTA, the ‘Golden Jubilee Celebrations committee’ under Mr Ashok S. Poojary, as President, especially our Parish priest, Rev. Fr. Valerian Mendonca, an educationist and former Principal, silently and cumulatively have planned to have the finale on 7th December, 2016 on a grand scale.
We at ‘Barkur-on-line’, wish that, the projects envisaged to mark the Jubilee be realised soon, with the support and contributions of all concerned, from far and near. As desired during the inauguration day, let this High School introduce English medium syllabus soon, and in doing so let it sow the first seeds of becoming a Junior College in days to come.......!
With best wishes and compliments on Golden Jubilee Celebrations.......!