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Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Reported by DaliusLL
Photos by Kelvins Kong

Sandakan: On Monday, 8th October, the Board of Governors (BOG) of the five Catholic mission schools in Sandakan paid an official visit to all their schools with the attendance of Fr. David Garaman, the Rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral and Pilis Malim, the Chairman of Parish Pastoral Councils (PPC). Mission schools place great emphasis on holistic education, balancing character development with academic excellence. It promotes the dignity, self-esteem and full development of the person, empowering young girls/boys to become people of integrity, with emphasis on the formation of the heart, so as to be committed to service to their family, nation and the world. This is in tandem with the aspirations expressed in the 'Rukun Negara' and the National Philosophy of Education. (Sabah Archdiocesan Education Commission)
In welcoming the Rector, PPC Chairman, BOG, and School Heads, Rose Solibun, Chairlady of Sandakan Diocesan Education Commission, affirmed that the need to preserve the identity maintains the Ethos and special character of the mission schools. In order to have the sense of ownership of the mission school, the BOG played a greater part with an active participation in the school’s affair. For a start, the School Heads were made aware of the importance of the Ethos in preserving the Mission schools special characters. Through this session, concise Handbills on Ethos, special character, and tradition were presented to all the Headteachers of SM St. Mary Secondary, SM St. Cecilia Secondary, SK St. Mary Convent and SK St. Mary Labuk.
In his note of appreciation, Fr. David Garaman said that it has been his interest to look into the development of the mission school since being appointed as the Rector of St. Mary Parish. He acknowledged the need  to have that sense of belonging through understanding of the ethos, character, and traditions of the mission schools, and at the same note, he pointed out on the importance of cooperation between the BOG, the School Heads and teachers in the Church works together in one mind one heart as a big team to realize that the mission schools are really ours. He was pleased that this session (presenting of the ethos) and the schools’ walkabout was a good start and hoped that the visitation of the schools is held regularly.  He thanked the Chairlady of Diocesan Education Commission for initiating this session, and the Headteachers of the schools for giving their time, especially in helping the Church to realise that the schools are really a mission school. He hopes that this cooperation and collaboration between the Church, BOG, and school Heads is maintained so that we can make this mission school truly belong to us. The session ended with a luncheon hosted by SK St. Mary Convent.

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