A note from the Principal
With the blessings of the Almighty, I Roma Robinson, the 9th Principal of Day Star School, Manali, extend my sincerest and warmest wishes to all our well wishers, Parents & Children of DSS family. It has always been my heart’s desire to work in a Christian Institution and therefore it is a great honor and privilege for me to work with august, God-fearing and dedicated people of the Day Star family. With your support and hard work, together we will take Day Star School to new horizons.
My educational philosophy coincides with the views of one of our former principal, Mrs. Beulah Abraham, who ten years ago wrote at the time of the Silver Jubilee of the school that (to quote)”Our desire is to impart value and value based education to our children who are a gift from God, and to mold and transform them through education, both spiritual and secular……”Thus I shall like to continue our mission in the spirit of Jesus, the greatest teacher of all, and His principles, which many great men of past like Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi have followed. In the present times, mankind has made great leaps in every walk of life, be it in growing food, medicines, artificial-intelligence, transplanting human organs and many more. In this race for moving forward, somewhere, some things got left behind... mainly human, natural and spiritual values!
The present ‘pandemic’ situation has forced us to stop, think, evaluate and acknowledge our limitations, our transient and fragile existence, both as individuals and as a collective. To take time off for reflection, recognition and realisation. To reconsider and rebuild our value system which has drifted away from the very essence of life which is to appreciate and respect the creation and its divinity.
The race for more power, more money, more comfort, greed, hoarding and possessing has taken precedence over simplicity, humility, selfless-care, honour and respect for man and nature. At the very heart of Christian faith we are taught to love God and our neighbour! This encompasses everything around us. We should “Let love and kindness be the motivation behind all that we do” (I Corinthians 16:14).
This makes me think of what is the role of education and school at present? What do we mean or expect from education? The word 'education' is derived from the Latin word "educare", which means to nourish, to bring out, or to draw out. Thus education is to draw out and lead forth that which is inherent in every child through the process of learning Therefore we should “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Mahatma Gandhi says “By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child & man body, mind and spirit.”
For a long time, there has been a steady shift from the higher human values to making education acquisitive: acquiring better grades, more degrees, better position, name, fame and a compelling need for more public attention! This has become the neo normal. But the Pandemic has forced us to come around a full circle! We now know that all the fame, money and position cannot buy us even one day of life. The ravages of nature will visit everyone alike. There is no superior being. All humans are equal!
For the first time, it feels, the role of education has become ever more important. Through education one gets desirable knowledge, understanding, skill, interest and attitude towards critical thinking and analysing. Along with the knowledge of history, geography, arithmetic, languages and sciences, we aim to develop deeper thinking towards complex human relations, its causes and effects. The skills in writing, speaking, drawing, calculating and operating basic tools and equipment of aid should go hand in hand. The epithet “Treat others as you wish to be treated” (an important Christian moral), needs to be communicated along with developing interest and attitude towards work, democratic living, co-operative management, and so on. An individual in the society should be able to think critically towards social issues, take decisions, and be free from bias and prejudices, superstitions and blind beliefs. He should be self-reliant and self-less in trying to move towards elevation of self, purifying thought and mind. Training to love and respect self, family, society and country and to give back to the society, nature and to work towards its preservation.
Besides all the above, in my Day Star School, I shall endeavour to see, with the help of honest and dedicated staff, that every child is aware of the earth he lives in and its environment, of climate change, of protecting and preserving nature and everything natural like water, mineral, forest and wildlife. That every child acquires basic skills that prepare him for better communication, teamwork, conflict-resolution, behaviour, and especially better group behaviour! To know that true freedom comes from disciplined life, and rights are led by duties, that nothing comes free! To “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave us”. (Ephesians 4:32)
Children should learn the basics of controlling desires and wants, basics of food and nutrition, basics of finance and law for a better day to day life. Know that true independence comes when they are able to take care of themselves. When they can clean, cook, wash and keep their belongings their homes and surroundings clean. When they able to acquire civilities towards each other, the community, city and the country. This includes making choices that promote a clean, safe and pollution free environment. To love, honour and respect everything animate and inanimate. Learn to leave everything behind them in a better condition than what they found it in. To know that to love each other is above everything else.
For I believe that "Education is the manifestation of the divine perfection already existing in man". (Swami Vivekananda). The Bible teaches us that 'Man is a creature created by God after His own image for fellowship with Himself!'
In the end, I would like to express my gratitude and many thanks to our Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. P. K. Samantharoy, who gave his precious time and presided over my installation, whose presence and blessings are greatly valued by me. Last but not the least I thank Dr. Philip Alexander, without whose encouragement and support I wouldn’t be here today.
May God bless us all towards building an honest, righteous, God fearing & stronger India !