I am currently in my 40’s. I have passed many seasons in life and experienced many a summer, winter, autumn and spring. Life has blessed me with its share of highs and low and all such experiences have went on to shape my dreams and inner consciousness. But the most recurrent place, I still dream of, is left miles behind on the tranquil banks of River Ganges, in a small city in the hinterland of Bihar. It is my alma mater, the school where I was enrolled as a fledgling and came out, groomed and moulded as aperson able to remember to cross my t’s and dot my i’s, as much as being able to distinguish between right and wrong and have the making to stand on my own feet in life, no matter which part of the globe I may find myself in.
The foundation stone of St, Joseph’s Convent was laid in the year 1853 by the Congregation of Jesus under the helm of the guiding spirit of Mother Mary Ward, who set up schools in these remote areas for the all-round education and development of girls. Regardless of caste, creed or financial status, the school, year on year plods to provide best quality education to the girls of these hinterland and the poorest of poor are also provided full scholarship to enable them to pursue their education.
The first thing that strikes one about the school is the imposing facade and the scenic location, ideal for dissemination of education. Cleanliness, hygiene and discipline is extended utmost priority with the school boasting of spick and span corridors, at any given time. Littering is seriously dissuaded and the floors are polished and wooden beams varnished at regular intervals, for an exterior worthy of its stature.
Apart from the spacious and airy classrooms, we had access to a multi-purpose room for small gatherings, a large sized auditorium for our cultural festivals, sports ground, basketball court, laboratories, computer rooms and Martial Arts room, The library is well-stacked with age appropriate books, novels, fiction, non-fiction, reference books. My immense passion for reading and my first exposure to good literature started within the walls of this library. Bus facilities across the network of the city makes it easily accessible for girls swarming from all regions though there is a strict admission entrance exam procedure to be followed before you get a chance to enter the green gates of this establishment.
Affiliated to Indian School Certificate Examination, New Delhi, the school has an impressive line-up of teachers who are extremely adept, involved and inspiring. Their attention to detail and their love for teaching comes across in the hearts of the students, who fondly remember them, long after they have passed out.
School, is rightfully decreed as more important than family to shape one’s personality and inculcate values. The values of secularism, humanitarianism, empathy for the less fortunate, inclination to work towards contributing positively to the society are all lessons learned at the cradle of this school, so much so, that years later, I dream I am back again roaming across the corridors and grounds of this alma mater and feel absolutely, at home amidst that colossal edifice.