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KOTA KINABALU – More than 110 members of the Board of Governors (BOG) and heads of Catholic mission schools in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, and the Dioceses of Sandakan and Keningau converged for the Archdiocesan Education Commission (AEC) and Board of Governors Forum at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre on 27 Feb 2016.
AEC presented a range of talks on the functions and responsibilities of BOG, permits and registration requirements with the Education Ministry, government grants, and the importance of upholding the Ethos, character and tradition of the mission schools by the authorities of the schools including BOGs, the heads and the staff.
The participants were introduced to the members of the Committee of BOG Coordinators which was formed to assist the AEC in helping, coordinating and monitoring the activities of the BOGs such as the implementation of school improvement projects and the appropriate usage of grants in the respective schools.
Government grants such as the PRK are very beneficial and important especially in the rectification of the physical condition of the school as most of the mission schools are old with lots of wear and tear and many are overcrowded with students. Heads of the schools and the BOGs were reminded to submit in their monthly reports on the utilisation of the funds given by the government on a timely basis.
To ensure quality education for all students and to maintain the identity, the hallmark and the role of mission schools, the heads of mission schools were encouraged to work hand in hand with their respective BOG and to maintain consistent and open communication.
Retiring heads were reminded that it is their responsibility to have a succession plan in place which could include talent scouting, grooming, coaching and mentoring so as to ensure the ethos, character and tradition of mission schools are perpetuated.
Archbishop John Wong in his closing address, mentioned that one of his dreams is to build strong foundations in the Catholic faith and values in young people who are the future of our society. He said we need to keep in mind on how we are to educate, as what one teacher said to him … that we should first touch the learners’ hearts, then teach their minds, and finally transform their lives. Like SM La Salle, it is essential we keep the tradition and heritage of our schools, with hearts and minds moving together through the challenges, and thereby creating the Godly society that we yearn for. He ended his speech by saying that the AEC, the BOGs and the heads of mission schools are his hands and feet as he could not realistically visit all the schools, taking the cue from what Pope Francis mentioned to the Bishops at the recent Synod. – AEC/Irene Chong