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PENAMPANG – The fully government-aided secondary school of SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin here has a weekly catechism class on Wednesdays in line with the MNEP.
The initiative was taken by the Archdiocesan Catechetical Commission in 2016 to hold the 7 pm-8 pm faith formation classes in the school premises instead of the traditional ‘Sunday School’ in the church.
Classes – baptism, confirmation, first holy communion – are held in classrooms provided by the school administration due to location and safety concerns.
The faith formation class is in line with the National Education Policy (MNEP) in ‘developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner, in order to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced, and harmoniously, based on a firm belief in and devotion to God’.
The school consists of over 70% Christian students, who are from the remote villages of predominantly Catholics in the Penampang district, mainly from the isolated areas such as Kg Togudon, Moyog, Terian bordering the Tambunan district. In order for them to fulfil their weekly spiritual obligation, they have to travel on foot to the nearest church, St Michael Penampang, which is about three kilometres from the school. However, many of them are boarding at the school.
“The school administration is very committed to the national education policy to produce balanced and harmonious individuals as contained in the Jasmani, Emosi, Rohani dan Intelaktual (JERI) philosophy, but the principal is also very concerned about the safety of the students. Hence, the idea of providing spiritual formation for them to be carried out in the school premises,” said Franciscan Sister Suzanna Guntali, who is also a teacher attached to the special integration programme for hearing-impaired students since 2005.
The teachers consist of some Franciscan Sisters, Penampang Sunday School teachers and some volunteers. – SOCCOM Penampang