Educationaal Apostalate Of Jesuits
The Jesuits are a religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church,
committed to the service of Christ and his people.
☇ Educationaal Apostalate Of Jesuits
The Ranchi Jesuits had set up many Hindi medium schools, normally attached to a parish and with a hostel. The main aim was to educate the Catholics and strengthen their faith. This development would continue with the Hazaribag Jesuits. John Moore, in January 1952, opened St. Xavier's Hazaribag, an English medium residential school, with 22 boarders and 15 day scholars. The aim was to give a stronger presence of the Church among a mainly Hindu upper middle class group.
After the starting of St. Xavier's Hazaribag, and with the continual increase of Jesuits in the then Hazaribag region, parishes were taken over from the Ranchi Jesuits, and therefore the Jesuits were at once involved in parish Hindi medium middle schools in their parishes. Moreover, some of the parishes had a number of village primary schools, all with the same purpose of educating Catholics and strengthening their faith.
In 1958, a Primary Teachers Education College was started, aimed at providing Catholic teachers for our ever increasing primary and middle schools. In the same year the inspector of Catholic Schools Ranchi, Fr. Whyte, petitioned the Regional Superior to upgrade St. Joseph's Mahuadanr to a high school, and in January 1959, the high school was started, to eventually develop into a co-educational +2 High School.
In 1966 another English medium school was opened in Bokaro Steel City. This was an opportunity to have a presence of the Church in what would become an important industrial city. Moreover, seeing the different needs of the people a social service Hindi medium middle school in the same campus was soon started.
Meanwhile the Mahuadanr Jesuits were thinking of strengthening the village education, by seeking recognition and payment for teachers. It was eventually decided to hand over the village schools to the government with our teachers still employed in those schools and receiving a government salary, and in compensation the schools in Sale and now Gothgaon were recognized and aided.. Another very important development also occurred in the 70s. There were three schools in Mahuadanr, St. Teresa's Girls High School, run by Holy Cross Sisters, Residential High School run by the welfare department, and St. Joseph's High School. It was decided in April 1968 to set up both a horizontal school complex, linking three high schools, and a vertical school complex, linking all the government and mission primary and middle schools of the valley with the high schools. Moreover it was agreed that in sharing facilities, the science block would be built on the government residential school campus and the trades block, school and hostel blocks on the St. Joseph's campus. The complex experiment went on for a number of years but there was little cooperation from the Welfare department school, and the venture came to an end.
In Hazaribag there was a real need for a Hindi medium high school for the Catholics whose parents were not able to send their children to St .Xavier's. St. Robert's High School was moved from Catholic Ashram campus to the St. Xavier's campus on 9 February 1977, and the school was recognized by the Bihar Government on 31 December 1978, teachers were paid by the education department and the school was declared a minority school by the government. As well as the closing of the boarding St. Xavier's brought in another important change moving from ICSE to CBSE. Later the Province saw its way clear to add +2 class and to open the school to girls.
While the Jesuits were involved in large institutions and in middle schools attached to parishes, there was another very important outreach, in the opening of formal village schools for the dalits. In the beginning there were a number of night schools but it was soon felt that the need was for good village day schools. Centers were established in Tarwa, where we were running a middle school cum hostel, and in Babupara. Eventually while the middle school remained in Babupara, Patra became the centre from where supervision of the village schools for dalits was carried out. By 1990, the Karanpura (Babupara) complex was running 13 village schools for 890 students: 75% being dalits; Tarwa centre 9 schools for 800 students, 54 % being dalits; Konar Extension (centred in TTI Sitagarha) 2 schools for 232 students, 41 % being dalits. Moreover a hostel had been established in Rajhar so that dalit students from small village schools could live in a hostel and attend R.C. Mission School, Jamuari.
In the Nineties with the further expansion of middle schools in Shahpur (Daltonganj), Patratu and Jamuniatanr, increase in numbers in the schools in Charhi, Tarwa, Balidih and Bhurkunda, and opening of schools for the Santhals in Patki and Kajarkilo, the demand for high schools from guardians and communities arose. Eventually it was decided to upgrade the middle school in Balidih but prepare the students for the Open School examination. This was not successful and so was decided to continue as a Jharkhand Board High School and opening permission was obtained. At this time Masi Marsal School, Charhi,for Santals, was upgraded to high school and its first batch wrote the board exam in 2000. Similarly Catholic Ashram School Bhurkhunda was upgraded to a high school in 1996.
The new millennium saw new ventures in education for our traditional target groups. A new parish Pakripath was started and with it a middle school, for the majority Oraon and the small community of Asurs. Under the guidance of the Mahuadanr community, St. Mary's School Chiro is up to class 8th and Lieven's School Tundtoli is up to class 8th.
But the major new venture in the Chechari was the starting of St. Xavier's College Mahuadanr. It was decided to start in a renovated trade block of St Joseph's school in August 2011 and later on moved to a new campus on the Daltonganj road, about 3 Km from Mahuadanr.
The mission in Jamuniatar started in 1996 with its outreach to the Korwas and with a central middle school and Seven village schools. In 2013 April, Prabhu Prakash School Jamuniatanr was upgraded to a high school. Outreach to the mixed groups in Palamu and Garhwa resulted in starting Sahodaya School, Shahpur, upgraded to high school in 2010. And in Hazaribag in 2011, St. Robert's Inter College, by an order of the Director of Secondary Education was converted into St. Robert's Plus Two High School.
Till today the Province is running, a university college, a primary teachers education college, two English medium +2 schools, two Hindi medium +2 schools, nine Hindi medium high schools, seven Hindi medium middle schools, and many small village primary and non formal schools. The Province catalogue of 2018 depicts that Hazaribag Jesuits are educating 24422 students with 785 staff members. In addition to this it is running 15 hostels attached to our institutions with 3489 hostellers.
This brief view of the educational ministry of the Hazaribag Jesuits would be incomplete if mention was not made of areas of cooperation. Especially since the time of Bishop George Saupin S.J., the Jesuits have been very closely linked with the Diocesan effort. They have helped to form strong Diocesan Education Boards, something that is lacking in many Dioceses of Jharkhand.
The second area of cooperation is with the Sisters of many congregations. Without these Sisters, the educational effort of the Province would be greatly weakened. There are Sisters teaching in Catholic Ashram Bhurkunda, St. Xavier's English medium and Hindi medium schools Bokaro Steel City, Masi Marsal Charhi, Masi Marsal Kajarkilo, Masi Marsal Patki, Fr. A.T. Thomas Memorial School Babupara, St. Joseph's Tarwa, St. Xavier's Hazaribag, Prabhu Prakash Jamuniatanr, Sahodaya School Shahpur, St. Xavier's Churadahor, St.Xavier's Sitagarha, St. Mary's Chiro, Lieven's School Tundtoli, St. Xavier's Pakripath, Nirmala Middle School Patratu, St. Joseph's Mahuadanr, Primary Teachers Education College Sitagarha, Teachers' Training Practice Middle School Sitagarha, St. Xavier's College Mahuadanr. This could be termed another school complex with Sisters and Jesuit Brothers working together.