‘More than quantity,we want quality’

Quest interviews Judson High School,Pimpri,founder-principal Dr Freda Moore and principal Francisca Saldanha.

Written by Express News Service | Published: October 16, 2012 5:04 am

How was this school founded? Tell us a bit about its history.

Judson school was started on January 7,1971,with two sets of benches for a nursery class. Every year,the strength of students grew,along with the problem of space and abidance of the rules for opening a new school. So,the drawing room was converted into a classroom for about three hours — Monday to Friday. It was an uphill task,as we did not know the local language then. Today,we are fully knowledgeable about the language,culture and the people in and around us. Whatever be the difficulties,it was faced head-on. We bravely faced every challenge there might have been in any form,such as dust-storms,cyclones,and the hurricane of human problems. We stood steadfast with determination and courage,we overcame all obstacles and looked ahead to achieve our goal.

Judson has flourished over the years,having its ups and downs,but has survived a very long and competitive innings of 40 years,imparting the best quality education to the masses.

Our interaction with other schools is overwhelming. Our latest achievement was getting more than 12 to 15 schools together,competing in a healthy and friendly atmosphere at ‘Judson Jig’.

What syllabus is followed here? What do you think about the popular notion that IB and IGCSE syllabuses are the future?

We follow the SSC syllabus.

Yes,there are many syllabuses,each claiming to be better than the other. But the fact of the matter is that the content may differ but the concept is the same everywhere. Plus,now the state board books in Class IX and X have been made at par with the CBSE syllabus. And efforts are going on to make all the books of SSC at par with the CBSE syllabus. Our pattern of teaching is also as per the centralised syllabus. So,I don’t think our SSC students lag behind in any respect.

Tell us about the academic performance of your school.

We are an ‘A’-grade school. Our school has always scored 100 per cent result. This time,32 students got distinction and 44 got first class. Another good thing is that due to the introduction of grading system,now there is less pressure on the students. We provide counselling to our students during examination time and also talk to their parents,so that the child is under no undue stress during the exams.

How much importance does the school give to sports?

Sports is an integral part of our curriculum. There are dedicated sports and Yoga periods in the curriculum. Plus,we have Scouts and Guides,which is compulsory for all the students. We are also going to organise an annual inter-school sporting event this December,which will be the biggest sporting event in the PCMC area for high school students.

Does your school take any measures for underprivileged

students?

If there is a student from economically weaker section (EWS) of the society,we give them fee concessions and even waive the fees in some cases. Students who get promoted donate the books of the previous class,which are further given to students belonging to EWS on compassionate grounds.

Does your school promote cultural activities?

We celebrate a cultural event every month. In June,we celebrate anti-narcotics day while in December we observe World AIDS Day. Along with awareness programmes for the students,we also conduct various cultural programmes during these events. Plus,we celebrate ‘Judson Jig’ annually,which is a one-of-its-kind event for high schools in the PCMC area. As many as 15 schools and more than 3,000 students participated in Judson Jig this time.

Tell us about the major achievements of the school.

In 1990s,computer education was just beginning to gain momentum. But Judson had already started computer classes in 1991. We were the only school to do so in this area. By 1995,we had started giving multimedia education to our students,which was unheard of in those times. We are the only school in the PCMC area that the President’s Shield for Scouts and Guides. In 1988,our Scouts and Guides team was selected to represent India and went to the UK for international camping.

What importance does the school give to moral education and where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?

Young people today are facing conflicts and dilemma at every turn of their life. Therefore,it is important to instill and reinforce certain values in children to enable them to grow up as courageous,morally strong,better persons and confident citizens of the world. Value education and discipline are the two principles on which our school stands. We instill it in all our students right from the beginning that right mannerism and ethics are the most important qualities in a person. We conduct special ‘value addition’ classes and the teachers are always so that they students ask whatever queries they have regarding any topic.

I think we are one of the best schools in the PCMC area. And we want to become the best school in the field of extracurricular activities and sports too. But more than growing the school in student strength,I need the quality of the students to be maintained. The teachers work very closely with the students at every level so that there is overall development of children. More than a school,this place is a home away from home and we want to maintain this.

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