photos by Shirley
Sandakan : Nine members of the Diocesan Education Commission (DEC) and four observers from Tawau, Lahad Datu and Sandakan convened at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, Sandakan for the 3rd DEC meeting and formation session on 11th and 12th July 2015. The meeting proper was presided by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom and chaired by Philip Lee, the commission Chairman.
In his welcoming address, the prelate reminded commission members through the various School Boards of Governors to preserve and maintain the ethos, special character and traditions of our mission schools. In our endeavor to realize the hallmarks of mission schools, we need to be diplomatic in our dealings with all stakeholders; the Parents-Teachers Association, the School Administrators and staff and the Education Department. A well grounded partnership will propel the school forward.
He also reminded the members to highlight management procedures for all School Boards of Management to abide and to give due attention. He hoped that the ten mission schools in the diocese could be well managed and be seen transparent at all time.
He said, 'My hope is that all SBOGs in the diocese would evolve into an exemplary model for the country concerning board management.'
The meeting touched on the school climate and culture as well as the physical environment of mission schools. It also discussed on ways to overcome some current and urgent issues so that the school would be a conducive and healthy ground for the promotion of education. The meeting has also resolved to publish a handbook for all SBOGs as an essential resource which will render some assistance to members.
The formation session on 12th July was held at SK St Mary's Convent. Prior to that, Commission members had the opportunity to tour all five Catholic mission schools in Sandakan located at the Catholic Education Complex at Mile 2.5, North Road; SK St Mary's Convent, SM St Cecelia Convent, SM St Mary, SK St Mary's Primary Town and SK St Mary Labuk.
The formation session focused on the vision of the commission and the future direction of all mission schools. The session provided an ideal platform for members to contribute their views on the vision / future direction of the schools through the Catholic context. The session was vibrant especially on exploring ways to restore the image of Catholic mission schools to its former glory.
The exchange of ideas and suggestions had indeed strengthened the spirit of members for better governance and stewardship of mission schools.