The Spirit Of St. Columba’s

Human Beings are not born equal. However, each human being is born unique. Each one has the right and potential to shine. The whole of Life, but especially the family and education in early life are fundamental environments in which each human being both discovers and gets the initial feel of one’s innate potential.

The modern age, modern psychology and current sociological thought have all concurred that it is in inclusivity and not exclusivity which is the best nurturing environment during the initial key years of a human beings life.

Psychology has helped us realise that that there are multiple intelligences and that all of us, to really reach our potential, must have the experience of growing in ALL our multiple intelligences, while discovering the ones which are our strengths and having reasonable expectations of those which are not our strengths. However, the development of one to the negation of others leads to the development of warped personalities, possibly eccentric and anti-social persons and thus basically sad human beings - which is not the purpose of any school and definitely nota school like Columba’s.

Thus Columba’s chooses to be a school with an inclusive environment.

It is our challenge, in this environment to help each individual discover and grow to his potential.

We understand that all the children are not expected to and it is not desirable that all only shine in one area of excellence. Some will have better sporting capabilities than others, others will have better theatrical abilities (like Sharukh Khan - our past pupil); others will have greater entrepreneurial skills like (the founder of Naukri.com - again, our past pupil).

This fundamental truth was understood by Edmund Rice, the founder of the Christian Brothers as far back in 1802 ! Edmund was a very successful businessman when most of his fellow Irish men were wallowing in poverty. He did not come to success because he was born to privilege - far from it - he was as disenfranchised as the rest of his countrymen, brutalised by vengeful English Lords. Having reached success the tough way, He chose to take kids from the most miserable backgrounds and give them both the means to live respectful lives (e.g one of his success stories was transforming a stowaway young Italian lad - Bianconni - and set him up in business – Bianconni, even in Edmund’s life time, gained wealth far in excess of any wealth Edmund had, yet his hallmark, like Edmund, was care for the less fortunate) and to be compassionate people.

Therefore Edmund Rice schools, and thus, St Columba’s as an Edmund Rice Educational institution, has always endeavoured to welcome students from all backgrounds and with various abilities or so called ‘disabilities’ what we now term ‘differently abled persons’, to the school. The hallmark of St Columba’s, and this will be attested to by all Columban’s, that the background or the economic wellbeing or deprivation of a fellow Columbandoes not matter, in fact, it has never been a factor in relationships. Columbans who are challenged physically draw forth from their peers the most generous support and concern.

Thus at Columba’s we endeavour to discover the potentialities of our children by having Enrichment centres as far back as 1989. While we have received awards for the number of students getting in, each year, into the IITs and while we have had classes for them, we have and continue to have coaching for students in a variety of games; we offer various courses - daring even in a boy’s school to open a course in Home Science ! When no school had computers, our children and teachers were breaking new ground and writing books on the subject (e.g. Bro E S D’Souza - “Chipping in” was written from a hands on introduction of the course by Brother). We continue to open courses like Information technology for our students and ensure that students from economically weaker backgrounds are not at a disadvantage - we have loaned to such students (for the course of their studies) computers which they take home !

Creating a High Potential school has not meant for us, at Columba’s, being in a rarified environment. We struggle to stay shoulder to shoulder with our students as they discover who they are - the discovery is, at the end, an experience of ecstasy but the journey is generally one through which their strengths of character are developed, and, we teachers have grown in largeness and mellowness of heart. Being an inclusive school will mean that we mirror our society: we have full classrooms; we have to struggle to find the finance to create empowering infrastructure, open new courses and to maintain the same. We sweat it out and we are often at our wits end; our idealism is daily put to the test as we battle in the heat and humidity of the Delhi summer; a society which is often not in tune with our vision; parents and students who fight against the best help they get !.

But through it all our students come forth as self-aware, self-assured, socially conscious and mindful of their innate divinity (!), humane human beings who have what it takes to shine in life - and that surely is THE HIGHEST POTENTIAL. It is in this sense that we are a high potential school - and we dare anyone to nay our claim. This is not often seen while in school (though there are many wonderful stories from parents and young people of how they have blossomed) or even at the time of the student’s graduation, or at the time of their CBSE Class X or XII results, but when they leave school and suddenly realise the privileged place which was their alma mater - St Columba’s !!

If you choose to be a member of the Staff at St Columba’s we invite you to share in this vision. We will do all in our ability to support you. However, we will also challenge you to live by this vision and once taken on, your continuing to be part of the St. Columba’s team will be determined by your stamina to live by this vision until your retirement !