Oldest school in Abu Dhabi turns 50

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Oldest school in Abu Dhabi turns 50
The St Joseph School in Abu Dhabi, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Published: Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:06 PM

Last updated: Tue 27 Jun 2017, 5:26 PM

The oldest private educational institution in the Capital, St Joseph's School, turns 50.
The principal of the school, Sister Carmen said the school founded in 1967 came up in Corniche with an aim to give 'quality, affordable and value-based' education.
The school now follows India's Central Board of Secondary Education syllabus.
"Till 1987, the school was open to all nationalities and followed British curriculum. I have heard there were about 45 nationalities," she said.

Celebrations begin tomorrow
The golden jubilee celebrations will start on Thursday with a logo release by St Joseph's Cathedral bishop Paul Hinder.
The logo was selected after a competition held for students from Grade 9 to 12. After the logo release, a jubilee anthem will be sung and other activities will begin.
In November, there will be a grand annual day, which will also be participated by former teachers and students of the school
Later, the school shifted base from a 'small shed' to the present full-fledged facility with over 50 classrooms, four laboratories in 17th Street of Al Mushrif area. In 1988, realising the needs of the vast Indian community, the school switched to India's CBSE syllabus.
Need for separate block and playground meant the school had to end its kindergarten section five years back, the principal for 10 years said.
"We have 1,432 students and our waiting list is big." The school has a cent per cent result in CBSE exams, the principal noted.
"From Grade 1 to 6, it's co-education. As per rule, we have separate classrooms for boys of Grade 5 and 6. From Grade 7, the school is only for girls."
List of programmes
The golden jubilee celebrations start from Thursday, and a golden jubilee committee is formed for school alumni, which is touted as the highlight for the year.
"We will unveil the jubilee logo, which was picked through a competition participated by 300 students from Grade 9 to 12. A jubilee anthem will be sung and other activities will begin. In November, there will be a grand annual day."
The logo will be inaugurated by St Joseph's Cathedral bishop Paul Hinder. There's also plan to have a first-ever inter-school quiz contest. Former teachers and students are set to be part of the celebrations.
The principal told Khaleej Times the school has an environment club, which takes innovative initiatives to spread awareness.
"We are nominated as Best Green Audit by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi. Our children are taught to recycle newspapers, separate plastic from paper, etc. All of compound cleaning is done by students. We use paper bags and not plastic."
The school has a tie-up with Al Ethihad Sports Academy. There is renovation planned to find new space for indoor games. Encouraging reading, each classroom has a shelf filled with books.
Music teacher Shanthi Thinaharan said she has grown with the school for last 25 years and waits every morning to reach the institute.
"Compared to other big CBSE schools, our strength is small but we 85 teachers are all united. It's nice to see the school growing," she added.
Learning supervisor Mariamma RK recollects her 30 years in the school and said the institute seeks to make students a global citizen.
"We have student competency framework, which is a training given to develop skills and values in each student. We also train our teachers for different skills," said Mariamma, adding that teachers are adapting to the new technology.
In her bid to improve as a teacher, Mariamma asks students to criticise her and write comments without penning their names. "We are a school with a difference."


Ashwani Kumar

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